Pedestrian Safety Focus After Deadly Times Square Accident
- Author: Salvatore Jensen May 22, 2017,
May 22, 2017, 23:16
The father of the 18-year-old woman who was killed when an erratic driver struck her and more than a dozen others in Times Square last week appears to have left a letter at the scene of the crash to his daughter and the families of other victims. This city and our hearts are scarred, cut to the core, but in true New York City fashion.We will heal.
"I was trying to get help", he said from Rikers Island.
In a jailhouse interview on Saturday, Richard Rojas told the New York Post (http://nyp.st/2rDrfDD ) that he recently spoke to a mental health counselor at a local veteran's center but they never got back to him. "The last thing I remember is driving in my vehicle". Please also remember there are 20 other families affected by this and please keep them in your thoughts too.
A police source has told Reuters that Rojas is believed to have been under the influence of some intoxicating substance, and ABC News has cited law enforcement sources as saying he apparently was high on synthetic marijuana.
Witnesses described a harrowing scene that started with screeching tires and ended with screams, chaos and a fiery crash at one of the world's most visited sites.
A troubled man with a history of drunken driving, Rojas bolted from his maroon Honda Accord after his deadly midday rampage on Thursday that left one person dead and 20 others injured. 19-year-old Jessica Williams is in critical condition.
Rojas has been arrested twice in New York - in 2015 and 2008 - for drunken driving, New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill said. "She was visiting NY to attend my wedding and the day before chose to visit Times Square, little did she know this trip would alter her life forever". He was getting charged with second-degree murder as well as vehicular homicide and several counts of attempted murder. He was combative with officers who handcuffed him, authorities said. He says he then woke up in the police precinct "terrified".
"I wasn't even all the way in when the auto sped by" about 10 feet away, said Long, a 54-year-old who was in town to see a musical.
"He's just mowing down people", said Asa Lowe, of Brooklyn, who was standing outside a store when he heard screaming.