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Times Square car incident: 1 dead, 19 injured; driver in custody


(CNN) — One person was killed and at least 19 others injured Thursday when a speeding car struck pedestrians in Manhattan’s bustling Times Square, police and fire officials said.

The driver is in custody, a New York Police Department source said. The driver has a history of drunken driving, a law enforcement official said.

The incident is being investigated as an accident, a police official said.

Before striking pedestrians, the car was “out of control,” an emergency management official said. Witnesses on social media described a speeding car plowing into people before crashing.

“A woman in front on the sidewalk was hit and tossed before then car reached 44th st, continued plowing people down at full speed up to 45th street, where it was stopped after crashing into more people and the light post pictured,” posted Instagram user @semiquasicelebritywannabe, who “saw the car speeding north on the west sidewalk of southbound 7th Ave.” from across the street.

Social media images show injured people on the street, a car upended at an angle and crowds gathered in the heart of the tourist hub.

Elizabeth Long of Ohio told CNN she was walking to the Hard Rock Cafe when she saw a maroon car heading toward her on the sidewalk. She ran into a building and prayed, she said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio are on their way to the scene. President Donald Trump, whose home at Trump Tower is one mile from the crash scene, is aware of the incident and will be updated, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted.

Patsy Sciutto, who works in Times Square, said she was meeting someone for lunch when an announcement came over a loudspeaker that the building was on lockdown because of an incident outside.

Officers there told her there was an “unknown speeding car,” Sciutto said.

Times Square averaged about 360,000 daily visitors in April, according to a tally by the Times Square Alliance, making it one of the most visited locations in the world.

Developing story – more to come

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