At approximately 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, 26-year-old Richard Rojas drove his maroon Honda Accord into the crowd at Times Square in New York City, killing an 18-year-old Michigan girl and injuring 22 others. Now, new information has emerged surrounding the crash, and one detail about the driver is turning heads.
Rojas steered his vehicle up Seventh Avenue in the wrong direction before making a U-turn onto the sidewalk at 42nd Street, where he continued for three whole blocks before crashing into a pole. After his car stopped, Rojas ran through the crowds of terrified witnesses screaming like a madman before the police, along with the help of several bystanders, were able to subdue him.
“He was driving like a madman and screaming,” said eyewitness Michael Rickerby, 24, a tourist from Tennessee. “It looked like he was trying to hit people. He had the angriest, craziest face and he was literally going after people.” Rickerby added that after the sedan came to rest with two wheels off the ground, Rojas “got out of his car and started trying to punch people and tackle people.”
“It looked like he was trying to hit them,” said witness Annie Donahey, 24. “He wasn’t trying to go back on the street. There was a guy on the windshield, along for the ride, but he kept on going. A girl who was next to me a moment ago, she was on the floor on her back,” she added.
“It was the sounds of bodies being hit, then came the screams,” Donahey recalled. “People were jumping out of the way, but he just kept going. Then there was silence for what seemed to be a really long time, then the screaming returned. There were bodies covered in blood.”
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It appears that the suspect’s crazed antics may have been fueled by drugs, as Rojas reportedly admitted his drug use to authorities when he was apprehended. Initial tests showed that he did not have alcohol in his system, but he did test positive for drugs. Rojas was also arrested for DWI in 2008 and 2013.
The crazed motorist, who has two prior DWI arrests, was believed to be high on drugs and wracked by delusional thoughts, sources said.
Sources said Rojas told cops something along the lines of, “This was the last day on Earth.”
He claimed to hear voices and suggested that he believed officers were going to kill him. [Source: NY Daily News]
Rojas had apparently planned on a murder-suicide, although that wasn’t how things unfolded. “You were supposed to shoot me,” he told the police, according to Daily Mail.
Instead of being put out of his misery, he was charged with one count of murder, 20 counts of attempted murder, and five of aggravated vehicular homicide. He will spend the rest of his days rotting in prison, suffering for what he did, and no one will feel any sympathy for him.