Pedestrians Mowed Down by Van in New York City

September 29, 2017Sep 29, 2017

We're receiving reports of injuries after a van hit multiple people in New York City. Emergency personnel are on the scene.

According to PIX 11, the incident happened around 5:30 p.m. Eastern Friday on Seventh Avenue and West 33rd Street near Madison Square Garden and Pennsylvania Station. At least two female pedestrians and one male pedestrian were hit. One Twitter user described the scene:

The vehicle has been described as a conversion van, according to NBC New York, although a tweeted photo of the van did not appear to match that description. Witnesses rushed to aid the injured pedestrians until ambulances arrived. 

Authorities have not seen any evidence yet that this is a terrorist event, but witnesses said the van was moving at a very high speed before slamming into the people using the crosswalk.

The pedestrians who were hit only sustained minor injuries. The van's driver stayed at the scene, where he was put in handcuffs, and has been described by witnesses as looking dazed.

The driver blamed a stuck gas pedal for causing the accident. Police looked into his story and reported that part of the floor mat in the van did appear to be covering the pedal.

The scene was reminiscent of a May incident where a driver plowed his car into a crowded pedestrian walkway in Times Square. One person died and 20 more were injured, according to CNN. The death toll would have likely been higher had the car not hit a safety barrier. In that case, the incident was ruled intentional, and driver Richard Rojas was charged with murder. 

Rojas, a Navy veteran, told police at the time "I wanted to kill them all" and admitted to drug usage. He later pled "not guilty." His case is still ongoing. He's scheduled to appear in court again next month, according to CBS New York.

Prayers for those injured in Friday's incident! Elsewhere in America, Oprah has brewed a firestorm on the internet with a statement she just made about Trump.

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