It was an average Thursday afternoon in times square until the hustle and bustle of the work week was interrupted by a man driving on the wrong side of the road and hitting over twenty people, killing one person, 18 year old Michigan resident Alyssa Elsman, and injuring several others. Several of the victims were hospitalized, and a few still remain in critical condition.

The offender's history of run-ins with the law

Richard Rojas, a 26 year old Navy veteran and Bronx native admitted that he intentionally hit the pedestrians. He faces hefty charges including second-degree murder, vehicular homicide, and several counts of attempted murder, with an arraignment date of Friday, May 19th.

It is clear that Rojas is no stranger to criminal behavior, as he has a long history of drunk driving and violence. He has been arrested three times in the past, both in 2008 and 2015 for drunk driving with a suspended license, and only last month for threatening a man with a knife.

The horrific crash

After Rojas, driving a red Honda, made a turn and started heading down the street in the wrong direction, he plowed through pedestrians, continuing to drive until he finally crashed into steel barriers along the side of the road. Victims were thrown in the air onto the nearby sidewalks, and people began running around and yelling in the immediate aftermath of the atrocity. Rojas's car flew in the air and caught fire shortly after it hit the stanchion.

Rojas tried to flee the scene but was apprehended by several witnesses, in addition to a traffic officer, and held to the ground. Once he was in custody, onlookers described him as looking mad, crazed, and dangerous. Many witnesses hung out around the scene, looking curiously at the damaged vehicle until police forced everyone to move back, at the time unaware of what might have been in the car.

Drug investigation

He told the police that he had smoked something before the incident. There was marijuana in his system, but he passed a breathalyzer test with a score of 0, though there will be a further investigation regarding what other drugs he may have ingested.

The crash is not deemed terrorism

Naturally, people began to worry that The Crash was an act of terrorism, but the authorities are fairly certain that this wasn't a terrorist attack.

It is believed to be an isolated incident, as there is no indication of any prior connection to a terrorist group, but the NYPD is still being cautious and surveying surrounding areas around the city. Mayor Bill De Blasio, along with other witnesses, the NYPD, has stated that the families of the injured and of Elsman are in their players. Many individuals have also taken to Twitter to share their condolences.