Officials said incident at the popular tourist site didnt appear to be linked to terrorism, and the suspected driver had prior convictions for drunk driving
A man drove his car at high speed onto a pavement in New Yorks Times Square on Thursday, killing one 18-year-old woman and injuring 22 other people.
Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, said there was no indication that this was an act of terrorism, after observers initially feared a repeat of recent incidents in Europe.
The mayor said that authorities were none the less reinforcing key locations around the city out of what he called an abundance of caution.
This is a tough day for New York City, said de Blasio, who thanked emergency service workers who had been quick to arrive on scene to treat the wounded.
The driver, a US navy veteran named as Richard Rojas, was arrested at the scene and breathalysed. Rojas had prior convictions for driving while intoxicated, according to police. He was seen slumped as he was detained by several officers and led to a police vehicle.
The New York fire department said 13 people were being treated for injuries on the ground after the collision at the tourist site in midtown Manhattan, which attracts more than 300,000 visitors a day.
In all, 22 people were injured and an 18-year-old woman was killed. The womans 13-year-old sister was among the injured, according to authorities. Four people were critically injured but all were expected to survive.
The crash came shortly before noon on Thursday as crowds packed streets on New Yorks hottest day of the year so far.
Abdel Dosokey, 20, told the Guardian he was working in a falafel cart at Broadway and 43rd Street, on the east side of Times Square, when the car crashed, sending pedestrians running and screaming.
I saw a car go on to the sidewalk and hit a lot of people, said Dosokey. He went into the sidewalk and a lot of people were hit down after that. Dosokey said police and ambulances arrived about two minutes later.
Rojas was driving a maroon 2009 Honda Accord. The car mounted the pavement at the west side of 7th Avenue and west 42nd Street. The vehicle ended up impaled on a bollard and tilted on one side, with its front windscreen smashed and its hood crumpled.
James ONeill, the New York police commissioner, said Rojas proceeded to drive at a high rate of speed along the sidewalk from 42nd street to 45th street. Flames were seen coming from Rojass vehicle and were extinguished by firefighters.
Police said Rojas was a resident of the Bronx section of New York City, and that he had been arrested for driving while intoxicated in 2008 and 2015.
ONeill said civilians and police had been involved in apprehending Rojas, but declined to give any more details.
Times Square, typically one of the busiest areas of New York City, was completely blocked off to the public on Thursday afternoon following the crash. Police shut down 43rd and 44th streets, which intersect Times Square, between 7th and 8th avenues.
In a statement posted to Twitter, New Yorks Sergeants Benevolent Association said: Regarding todays car crash in Times Square- we dont know yet if this was just an accident, but continue to stay alert & carry your firearm.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said Donald Trump was briefed on the incident.
Carolyn Maloney, a Democratic congresswoman for New York, said on Twitter: My heart goes out to the family who lost a loved one and those injured in Times Square crash.