New York mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill hosted a news conference at the scene of the incident.
The mayor said: “So far what we know: 23 individuals were injured in this incident and that includes tragically one woman who has passed away.
“The perpetrator is in custody, is a United States citizen and a former member of the armed forces.”
In its preliminary investigation of the incident, the NYPD revealed that a 2009 Honda Accord mounted the sidewalk at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue.
The driver was confirmed by Police Commissioner O’Neil as 26-year-old Richard Rojas from the Bronx.
The NYPD has now said 22 people are injured with four victims in critical state – all have been taken to area hospitals. The deceased victim was an 18-year-old woman.
The Police department says the incident is not being treated as terrorism and the driver is in custody after the "isolated" vehicle collision.
It is not yet known why the car struck the pedestrians but the driver is reportedly being tested for alcohol and a law enforcement official confirmed the man has two DWIs on his record.
Witnesses said the motorist drove a red Honda sedan against traffic and on to the sidewalk, striking pedestrians, at about about 5pm BST (noon ET).
“Everybody was just running, everyone was concerned for their lives,” a witness told local CBS television.
Another witness told Reuters that one person was covered with a bloodstained blanket after the collision in the heart of New York.
CBS New York Television said the driver had been removed. Television footage showed police officers restraining a man in a dark T-shirt and placing him in a police car.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) May 18, 2017
— FDNY (@FDNY) May 18, 2017
One witness said the car caught fire after the crash and another said: "I would have to imagine the vehicle was travelling at easily more than 30 miles per hour."
White House press secretary Sean Spicer has confirmed that President Donald Trump was informed about the incident.
New York Govenor Andrew Cuomo were at the scene getting briefed by New York Police Department officers.
Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them visitors from around the world, pass daily through the bustling commercial area, the heart of the Broadway theatre district.
More to follow.
New York terror: What we know so far as
The alleged driver is reportedly 26 years old
The vehicle involved in the New York Times Square attack was a red sedan
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Video stills of the police apprehending the alleged driver