Mayhem in New York City's Times Square: Car leaves path of destruction; driver in custody

First responders are at the scene as people help injured pedestrians after a vehicle struck pedestrians on a sidewalk in Times Square in New York, US on May 18, 2017.
First responders are at the scene as people help injured pedestrians after a vehicle struck pedestrians on a sidewalk in Times Square in New York, US on May 18, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS
Emergency workers at the scene after dozens were injured when a vehicle struck pedestrians in Times Square in New York City, on May 18, 2017.
Emergency workers at the scene after dozens were injured when a vehicle struck pedestrians in Times Square in New York City, on May 18, 2017. PHOTO: EPA
A vehicle that struck pedestrians in Times Square and later crashed is seen on the sidewalk in New York City on May 18, 2017.
A vehicle that struck pedestrians in Times Square and later crashed is seen on the sidewalk in New York City on May 18, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS
An injured woman lays on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestirans on the sidewalk in New York City on May 18, 2017.
An injured woman lays on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestirans on the sidewalk in New York City on May 18, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS
An injured man is seen on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk in New York City on May 18, 2017.
An injured man is seen on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk in New York City on May 18, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS
An injured woman is seen at a crosswalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk in New York City on May 18, 2017.
An injured woman is seen at a crosswalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk in New York City on May 18, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS
Emergency workers treat a victim after multiple people were injured when a vehicle struck numerous pedestrians in Times Square in New York City on May 18, 2017.
Emergency workers treat a victim after multiple people were injured when a vehicle struck numerous pedestrians in Times Square in New York City on May 18, 2017.PHOTO: EPA
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other public officials at a press conference at Times Square following the crash on May 18, 2017.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other public officials at a press conference at Times Square following the crash on May 18, 2017. PHOTO: EPA
Police examine the wrecked car which earlier hit pedestrians sits in the intersection of 45th and Broadway in Times Square, New York City, on May 18, 2017.
Police examine the wrecked car which earlier hit pedestrians sits in the intersection of 45th and Broadway in Times Square, New York City, on May 18, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS
A shoe and other items are seen at a crime scene on a sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians in New York City, US on May 18, 2017.
A shoe and other items are seen at a crime scene on a sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians in New York City, US on May 18, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS
An injured woman on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk inn New York City, US on May 18, 2017.
An injured woman on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk inn New York City, US on May 18, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Seconds before impact, two women pushed their baby strollers right where the car would begin its path of destruction through Times Square.

Then came the horrifying moment: The burgundy Honda accord drove onto the sidewalk, scooping up five pedestrians over the hood and tossing them aside like bowling pins.

Security video from the Thomson Reuters building in Times Square captured the mayhem, when a young man plowed his Honda Accord sedan into the crowd, turning a bustling tourist destination - normally packed with sightseers and street entertainers dressed as cartoon characters and superheroes - into a crime scene.

A Reuters reporter walking to work heard a couple of thuds, the sound of broken glass, muffled shouts and screams.

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While some bystanders rushed to help the injured, others stood in silence, dazed for a moment before people started crying or shouting for help.

By then the car was gone, leaving behind a trail of wounded bodies on the sidewalk, with several victims bleeding from the knees, hips and elbows.

 

One young woman's body, twisted and lifeless, lay face down. Beside her was a New York state license plate and a side mirror that broke off from the car, a police officer at the scene said.

That 18-year-old woman was killed and 22 more were injured including the dead victim's 13-year-old sister, officials said.

"They mowed everyone down," said an unidentified girl out shopping with her mother, Cheryl Howard, who had blood dripping down her right arm and a swollen bruise above her left eye.

The car's driver and lone occupant, a 26-year-old man from New York City's Bronx borough, was in custody, and police said there was no immediate indication of terrorism. But witnesses all agreed: The act was intentional.

"He was aiming for people," Howard said. "It hit everybody on the block," said another witness, Michael Elias, 31. "Having almost been hit, I was pretty scared."

Another witness, who would only identify himself as Andrew, said the driver was "aiming for as many people as he could possibly get. ... It was very bloody, very disturbing."

Amid the havoc, there was at least one affirming moment, as recounted by a pregnant 38-year-old teacher from Baltimore who would only give her last name, Martin.

"A man pulled me out of the way of the car," she said. "I think he saved my life."