3 people still critical after car plowed down Times Square sidewalk: police

NEW YORK, May 19 (Reuters) - Three people were in critical condition on Friday after a driver plowed into pedestrians a day earlier in Times Square, killing a young woman and injuring 20 others, police said.

One of the three, a 38-year-old woman from Canada, was in very critical condition, Chief of Manhattan South Detectives Bill Aubrey told a news conference. Aubrey said results of drug tests on the driver were expected in the next few days.

Richard Rojas, 26, knocked pedestrians into the air as he sped for three blocks in his burgundy Honda sedan through one of the city's busiest areas on Thursday before crashing into a metal stanchion, the New York Police Department said.

RELATED: Horrific photos from the scene

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Car strikes pedestrians in Times Square
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Car strikes pedestrians in Times Square
NEW YORK, USA - MAY 18: Flames and smoke rises from a wrecked vehicle after it plowed into pedestrians on a busy sidewalk on the corner of West 45th St. and Broadway at Times Square, New York, NY United States on May 18, 2017. Multiple pedestrians were struck Thursday by a speeding vehicle in the heart of New York City, according to reports. At least 13 people wounded. (Photo by Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Richard Rojas is escorted from the 7th precinct by New York City Police officers after being processed in connection with the speeding vehicle that struck pedestrians on a sidewalk in Times Square in New York City, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
An injured woman lays on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestirans on the sidewalk inn New York City, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A photo of victim Alyssa Elsman of Portage, Michigan is posted on a baricade in Times Square May 19, 2017, the morning after Richard Rojas crashed his car into a a crowd of pedestrians in New York's Times Square killing one and injuring 22 people. A US Navy veteran who plowed a car into pedestrians in New York's Times Square, killing a woman and injuring 22 other people, has been charged with murder and attempted murder, police said Friday. / AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
First responders are at the scene as people help injured pedestrians after a vehicle struck pedestrians on a sidewalk in Times Square in New York, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Jeremy Schultz
First responders and people help injured pedestrians after a vehicle struck pedestrians on a sidewalk in Times Square in New York, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Jeremy Schultz
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUALS COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY An injured man is seen on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk in New York City, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar
First responders are assisting injured pedestrians after a vehicle struck pedestrians on a sidewalk in Times Square in New York, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Jeremy Schultz
An injured woman is seen on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk inn New York City, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUALS COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY An injured man is seen on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk in New York City, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar
First responders tend to an injured pedestrian after a vehicle struck pedestrians on a sidewalk in Times Square in New York, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
A woman attends to an injured man on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk in New York City, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUALS COVERAGE OF SCENES OF DEATH OR INJURY A body of a deceased person lies covered on the sidewalk in front of the 3 Times Sq building in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk in New York City, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar TEMPLATE OUT
Police investigate the vehicle that drove onto sidewalk and struck pedestrians in Times Square in New York, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: A wrecked car sits in the intersection of 45th and Broadway in Times Square, May 18, 2017 in New York City. According to reports there were multiple injuries and one fatality after the car plowed into a crowd of people. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - MAY 18: A wounded civilian is being hospitalized after a maroon sedan vehicle plowed into pedestrians on a busy sidewalk on the corner of West 45th St. and Broadway at Times Square, New York, NY United States on May 18, 2017. Multiple pedestrians were struck Thursday by a speeding vehicle in the heart of New York City, according to reports. At least 13 people wounded. (Photo by Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers stand near newly erected concrete barricades outside the 3 Times Square building in Times Square where a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians Thursday in New York City, U.S., May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar
A vehicle that struck pedestrians and later crashed is seen on the sidewalk in Times Square in New York City, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People walk between newly erected concrete barricades outside the 3 Times Square building in Times Square where a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians Thursday in New York City, U.S., May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Emergency personnel inspect a vehicle involved in striking a number of pedestrians in Times Square in New York, May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Richard Rojas is escorted from the 7th precinct by New York City Police officers after being processed in connection with the speeding vehicle that struck pedestrians on a sidewalk in Times Square in New York City, U.S., May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
A photo of victim Alyssa Elsman of Portage, Michigan is posted on a baricade in Times Square May 19, 2017, the morning after Richard Rojas crashed his car into a a crowd of pedestrians in New York's Times Square killing one and injuring 22 people. A US Navy veteran who plowed a car into pedestrians in New York's Times Square, killing a woman and injuring 22 other people, has been charged with murder and attempted murder, police said Friday. / AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
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Rojas, who is from the Bronx area of New York City, had been arrested twice for drunken driving, in 2008 and 2015, and once this month on a charge of menacing for threatening another man with a knife, police said.

City officials do not consider the incident an act of terrorism, Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a visit to the scene on Thursday.

RELATED: Times Square driver was high on synthetic marijuana (K2) when he slammed into pedestrians: report

Police said the young woman killed on the sidewalk was Alyssa Elsman, 18, who was on vacation with her family from Michigan. Twenty-two people were injured.

Rojas was due to appear in Manhattan's criminal court on Friday to be arraigned on one count of second-degree murder, five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and 20 counts of attempted murder.

Although only one person was killed, a driver can face multiple counts of vehicular homicide under New York law if other people are seriously injured. It was unclear if Rojas has a lawyer.

(Reporting by Gina Cherelus and Jonathan Allen; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Daniel Wallis and Lisa Von Ahn)

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