Scene of horror after Times Square rampage

Police said 23 people were hit by the auto, including an 18-year-old tourist from MI who died.

Witnesses say the motorist mounted the sidewalk in a burgundy Honda sedan and sped along more than three city blocks, knocking people over before the auto hit a pole and came to rest at 45th Street and Broadway in Midtown Manhattan.

Helpless pedestrians had little time to react as the auto barreled down the sidewalk and through intersections before smashing into a row of steel security barriers installed in recent years to prevent vehicle attacks on the square where massive crowds gather every New Year's Eve.

A wrecked vehicle sits in the intersection of 45th and Broadway in Times Square, May 18, 2017 in New York City.

The dead woman was named by police as Alyssa Elsman, 18, who was on vacation with her family from MI.

Rojas, a US Navy veteran and a Bronx resident Bronx, is reported to have previous convictions for drunk driving. -He has two prior arrests in Queens and Manhattan for driving while intoxicated, one in 2008 and the other in 2015, respectively.

Several pedestrians have been injured by a speeding vehicle in New York City's Times Square. "Boom!' And everyone just starts running", Boyce added.

"There were a lot of people out, enjoying the good day, and then I heard screaming and the auto running over bodies", she said.

Witnesses spoke of fear and panic as the auto hurtled through the crowd at the start of the lunch hour as people enjoyed one of the first warm days of summer in an area typically packed with tourists and office workers.

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"He was going faster and faster on the sidewalk when he was hitting people". About 20 other people were injured.

The White House said President Donald Trump has been "made aware" of the situation in Times Square and will continue to receive updates as the situation unfolds.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that Trump was briefed before NY authorities confirmed the death.

Officials say the driver is in custody and being tested for alcohol. Four of the survivors were taken to hospitals in critical condition.

Pictures on CBS News network showed a man the station said was the suspect being bundled into a police vehicle by several officers.

The auto came to rest with two of its wheels in the air, leaning on a lamppost and steel barriers meant to block vehicles from getting onto the sidewalk.

Broadway announced that shows would run as scheduled Thursday but urged theatergoers to allow extra time to arrive "due to an active investigation" in the Times Square area and road closures.

There was no immediate word from New York City police on the number of people who were hurt.

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