OT - Victim of Car Incident at Times Square was an 18 Year Old Woman from Michigan

Submitted by EastCoast on May 18th, 2017 at 6:45 PM

This is absolutely heartbreaking. As many of you may know, a man drove a car into a crowd at Times Square at around noon today. There was one immediate victim of the incident; a young woman.

That woman has now been identified as Alyssa Elsman, who graduated from high school in Portage, Michigan just last year.

RIP Alyssa.


EDIT: Changing the title to reflect uncertainty about what precisely happened. Whether it was purposeful or not, though, a woman who apparently many MGoBloggers knew is now deceased. Please be respectful.



May 18th, 2017 at 11:45 PM ^


The driver of the Honda, Richard Rojas, 26, a Navy veteran from the Bronx, had a history of arrests for drunken driving, said officials, moving quickly to assuage fears of terrorism.

“Based on information we have at this moment, there is no indication that this was an act of terrorism,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters at a news conference near the scene of the rampage.

Much more detailed [& responsible] reporting. Nothing about suicide-by-cop, but he had a long history of violence and substance abuse. Preliminary reports that he had PCP in his system.

And Alyssa Elsman, the Portage girl who died, was with her 13-year-old sister, who was also injured.


May 19th, 2017 at 11:28 AM ^

The "preliminary tests" showed no alcohol but found drugs.

Also can't edit my earlier post, but today's Times article adds something about the suicide-by-cop issue:

Under questioning by investigators after his arrest, Mr. Rojas rambled and offered different explanations for the rampage; several law enforcement officials said investigators had not yet come to any conclusions about the differing accounts. He made some statements suggesting he might have wanted to provoke the police into killing him, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was not complete. One of the officials said Mr. Rojas had also reported hearing voices and having hallucinations.


Hotel Putingrad

May 18th, 2017 at 6:53 PM ^

But God I hate the media...news alerts blowing up when it happened, hoping it was terrorism. Then once it turned out to be a random drunk guy, "back to our regularly scheduled programming."


May 18th, 2017 at 7:40 PM ^

I second the media hate. The publishing misinformation to be the first reporting and push a narrative is strong on this one. 

Within the matter of hours it went from:

Terrorist attack - Ban Muslims!

DUI- We need stricter alcohol laws!

No alcohol in his system, but synthetic marijuana- Legalize real weed and this wouldn't happen!

Now apparently he was suicidal veteran suffering from PTSD.

It's incredibly infuriating and disrespectful to the girl who died and the 22 injured to run wild with a story without facts where their tragedy plays second fiddle to politcal movements. But this is nothing new.

Gunga Galunga

May 18th, 2017 at 10:57 PM ^

I wasn't the one who took the first cheap shot. When people still say childish things like "orange" about our president then I take offense and so should you. He is our president and we need to respect him and the office. I never said anything derogatory about the previous president because he was our president. All I was saying was show some respect.


May 18th, 2017 at 11:45 PM ^

Is this some sorta angry man schtick that I just don't understand? It has to be, right? Otherwise, difficult to imagine how a post about a car accident would otherwise devolve to calling people "turds" and "retards".


May 18th, 2017 at 11:48 PM ^

Go relax and get some sleep man. I get your offended by some stuff people just said, but the manner you are snapping at them is honestly coming off just as immature and irrational...if not more. Try taking the high road next time if you want to really prove something when you think you and the people you support are being disrespected.

This is why we can't have nice things here. No. Politics. Especially on a thread about a young lady losing her life.


May 19th, 2017 at 5:09 AM ^

The internet is not for everyone and I'm thinking it applies to you. Your rage over a stranger's comment/opinion is a bit over the top. In the grand scheme of things, who cares what was said? How does that have a direct impact on you?


May 18th, 2017 at 11:37 PM ^

I do enjoy watching eveyone who strays hard left or right freaking out about stuff. I wonder how many people decrying the 'witch hunt' will go to their graves convinced Barack Obama was born in Kenya...

(and vice versa to be fair)


May 19th, 2017 at 10:54 AM ^

His skin is orange, though. That's a factually correct statement. And it's not driven by the news, but by the way his skin reflects light and the way the human eye perceives that reflection.


May 18th, 2017 at 8:19 PM ^


And unfortunately I believe I know that family, although we are not close. So off to the phone. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I tend to skip the MSM.


May 18th, 2017 at 10:38 PM ^

An innocent person died unnecessarily at a young age and almost two dozen others were injured.  Whether the driver was suicidal or drunk (at least two previous driving while intoxicated incidents), they need to be punished, put in jail, or confined to a mental institution.  No one has the right to have so little regard for other lives.  If it's your own life, just drive off a cliff. Horrific.


May 18th, 2017 at 11:26 PM ^

...that is the reality. Somebody's little girl isn't coming home...needlessly. [Insert comments of those who disregard CNN, FOX, PBS, etc.] I have two kids as well (as I'm sure myriad others here do as well)...the last of my worries would be the predictable dialogue that would come out of the media (from any political direction), alongside those of my collegiate peers whose self-perception exceeds that of not only the media, but of their 'mates as well... maybe they can post their MCATs, GMATs, LSATs, etc. to assure those around them of their intellect... meanwhile, in Portage, MI, a mom, dad, sibling, etc., experience a loss the rest of us hope (or pray) not to ever experience...and the driver with two DWIs who was or wasn't intoxicated or impaired this time has a voice, while an 18 year old kid who wanted to see Times Square does not....we can all be glad the douche-f&ck POS driver got another chance...


May 19th, 2017 at 9:18 AM ^

 Hundres of people saw it and he got out of the car and acted crazy. Shouldn't even be a trial and taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for his life in jail. Let rabid dogs tear him apart.


May 19th, 2017 at 11:26 AM ^

My daughter just finished a 10-week externship in NYC.  She crossed the intersection of 45th St. and 7th Ave. every day on her way to/from work.  It's a teeming mass of humanity at that location at lunchtime. 

Horrified by the number of victims.  Grateful that there weren't more.  Extra grateful that my daughter wasn't there.



May 20th, 2017 at 12:02 AM ^

This is awful. Any death of an innocent person is a tragedy, but there is something especially heartbreaking about the death of an 18 year-old who is just starting out in life. RIP.