At least 2 killed, 7 injured when driver plows into pedestrians during July 4th celebration in Manhattan park

NEW YORK — At least two people were killed and seven others injured when a suspected drunken driver crashed into a Manhattan park Thursday night during a July 4th celebration, authorities said.

The incident happened just before 9 p.m. on the Lower East Side, according to the New York City Police Department.

In a late-night news conference, NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said the driver of a Ford F-150 pickup truck was speeding down Water Street, then ran through a stop sign at the intersection Water and Cherry streets, drove up onto the sidewalk and crashed into Corlears Hook Park.

Nine pedestrians were struck, including four who became trapped under the vehicle.

The New York City Fire Department said crews arrived on the scene within three-and-a-half minutes and lifted the vehicle off the victims.

Nine people were rushed to area hospitals. Two people have been pronounced dead.

Officials say two victims are critically injured, three suffered serious injuries and two suffered minor injuries.

Maddrey said they are still working to determine the ages of the victims, but at least two children were taken to an area hospital.

Authorities said it does not appear the incident was terrorism-related.

“A driver drove into a crowd of people who were actually just celebrating like so many New Yorkers and Americans are doing right now,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said.

Authorities said they believe alcohol may have been a factor.

“Responding officers who did arrive on the scene did smell some alcohol, but we are still in the process of doing testing,” Maddrey said.

The driver, whose name was not released, was taken into custody with the help of good Samaritans at the scene.

“We believe initially that there were people who were there at the scene who grabbed the driver, removed the driver and made sure the driver didn’t leave until first responders made it to the scene,” Maddrey said.

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