A New Jersey high schooler is in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle in New York City's Times Square on May 18.
Jessica Williams, 19, was hit when Richard Rojas careened into crowds of people walking in the popular New York spot, according to the New York Daily News. Williams was just weeks away from her senior prom and graduation from high school when she was hit. She now faces a difficult recovery.
Williams suffered a fractured pelvis and broken leg in addition to severe cuts on her face and other parts of her body.
"Her spleen was removed yesterday and the damage to her face was stitched up today,” wrote cousin Nicole Guild on a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for the medical costs, reports MyCentralJersey. "Her leg is still broken and will require surgery at a later time."
Williams and fellow senior and friend Destiny Littlefoot went into the city from their New Jersey high school, participating in a "senior ditch day," when seniors at the school skip classes for the day and venture out into the city. Littlefoot was also hit but her injuries are less severe.
Guild described Williams condition and treatments on the crowdfunding page:
She is still in traction due to the open fracture pelvis and that will also need to be addressed more at a later time. They have her sedated pretty heavily to keep her comfortable.
She is strong, she is a fighter and she will pull through this.
High school prom and graduation for Dunellen are just weeks away and the excitement of all that has been ripped away from her as she is now fighting for her life. Jessica is one of the most loving people I know and has such a passion for life.
Twenty people were hit when Rojas jumped the curb and plowed through crowds of sightseers, according to The New York Times.
Michigan tourist Alyssa Elsman, 18, was killed.
"She motivated me, loved me, gave me everything I needed that I couldn't give myself. And now that she’s gone, I don’t know how I’m going to fill that void," Elsman's boyfriend, Trevor West, told the New York Post.
Rojas told authorities he was smoking marijuana laced with PCP before the crash and said he wanted to "kill them all," according to the New York Daily News.
"[The car] was going at a fast rate of speed and to me it looked like it was trying to hit as many people as possible,” a witness said. "People were trying to jump out of the way."