The woman, identified by sources as Alyssa Elsman of Portage, Michigan, was walking through the heart of Midtown Manhattan with her sister when the incident occurred.
A driver believed to be Richard Rojas, 26, of the Bronx, mounted the curb and plowed through crowds at high speed for three and a half blocks before crashing. According to sources, he told cops that he wanted to kill his victims, and that police should have shot him.
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Rojas, a US military veteran who has a criminal history including two DWIs, had reportedly been smoking K2, the infamous synthetic marijuana, prior to the crash. It has been linked to psychotic episodes.
Of the 22 people hurt, the NYPD said that four people had been critically injured with open fractures and multiple traumas and three others were seriously injured – all were hospitalized. Some 15 more were not seriously injured, and were not hospitalized.
The status of Elsman’s 13-year-old sister has not yet been released.