The vehicle hit a pole and came to rest at 45th Street and Broadway before police took the driver away.
They say Rojas has a record of drink driving and is now being tested for alcohol and drugs.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters there was no indication it was an act of terrorism and that the driver had two previous arrests for drunk driving.
"We don't have anything in common except to say "hi, '" said Razak, who works as a hairdresser next door".
Police said Mr Rojas made a quick U-turn onto 42nd Street and then drove up the sidewalk for three blocks, passing tourist hot spots such as the Hard Rock Cafe and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant and mowing people down before slamming into a pole. "People just got stunned", he said. They say he was captured at the scene and arrested. Nobody in the group was harmed, he added.
After plowing into pedestrians in Times Square on May 18, Richard Rojas reportedly revealed that he was attempting suicide by cop. The Daily Gazette is reaching out to the school for further comment.
Emergency workers work at the scene after multiple people were injured when a vehicle struck numerous pedestrians in Times Square in New York City, New York, USA, 18 May 2017. "I mean, at first we didn't believe this was all real until I got online and looked [it] up".
Police secure an are near a vehicle after it plunged into pedestrians in Times Square in NY yesterday (May 18). "He just kept going".
22 others were injured when Rojas allegedly sped his auto up on the sidewalk.
Annie Donahay, a witness at the scene, said she could hear "the sounds of bodies being hit, then came the screams".
Josh Duboff, who works nearby and jumped out of the way to avoid being hit, said: "People were being hit and rolling off the vehicle".
An 18-year-old girl who was walking on the pavement with her 13-year-old sister was fatally injured.
The conditions of those injured are unknown, WABC said.
People in the surrounding area in a number of buildings were placed on lockdown after the incident.
Officials didn't immediately elaborate about where the other victims were from and if anyone was from another country.
He tested negative for alcohol but it is understood that he is also undergoing tests while in police custody to see if he had taken drugs. The state motor vehicle department confirmed he was convicted of driving while impaired in both cases but still had a valid driver's license as of Thursday. A law enforcement source said he was arrested in Florida on a driving under the influence charges, and was dishonorably discharged from the Navy.
"It hit her", he told the newspaper, pointing to the woman. He started hitting people. "I didn't know what was going on. It just was doing like about 100 miles per hour and then the auto crashed".
The car's bumper sat nearby in the middle of the sidewalk.
"The auto sped through here, it was moving so fast, and it crushed all these people", he said.
CBS2 learned investigators took Rojas' mother away for questioning.
- Congressman calls for Trump's impeachment on House floor
- Cornyn, Gowdy among candidates to replace Comey at Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Donald Trump 'asked Comey to shut down Flynn investigation'
- Ducks even Western finals with 3-2 overtime win against Predators
- Mike Huckabee calls Roger Ailes a 'genius'
- Warriors Blow Out Spurs, Take 2-0 Series Lead
- LeBron guides Cavaliers to another clean sweep
- Cavaliers win Game 1 in Boston
- Iran's Rouhani congratulates South Korea's Moon on presidential victory
- Celtics blown out by Cavaliers in opening game