The driver who plowed a car into pedestrians over three blocks of a busy Times Square sidewalk just before noon Thursday -- killing an 18-year-old Michigan tourist and seriously injuring her 13-year-old sister -- apparently was high on synthetic marijuana, also known as K2, the NYPD said.
Richard Rojas, a 26-year-old notary from the Bronx, also had two prior DWI arrests and was charged in March with putting a knife to a man's throat, the department confirmed.
Rojas got out of the car after it crashed against a light stanchion, then ran across Seventh Avenue before a city traffic enforcement officer tackled him and others assisted, the NYPD said.
Alyssa Elsman, 18, of Portage, MI ( photo above ), was killed and at least 20 other people sustained varying injuries, including Elsman's younger sister, who was hospitalized, authorities said Thursday afternoon.
NOTE: Anyone concerned about a friend or family member who might have been injured can call (212) 639-9675 . From inside NYC, dial 311 .
The red Honda Civic "mounted the sidewalk at West 42nd St and 7th Ave and drove northbound on the sidewalk to West 45th St and 7th Ave, striking multiple pedestrians along the way," the NYPD said in a statement.
"The vehicle struck [steel safety poles] at West 45th St and 7th Ave, rolled slightly, and began to smoke."
Various photos show the New York State-tagged sedan on two wheels where it came to rest against the stanchion.
Authorities said Rojas served in the U.S. Navy from 2011 to 2014.
EXTENSIVE COVERAGE (New York Post): http://nypost.com/2017/05/18/times-square-victim-killed-in-crash-was-18-year-old-tourist/