Short security posts built by a L.A. company appear to have played a role in stopping a car involved in the deadly pedestrian crash in Times Square on Thursday afternoon.
A man steered his car onto a sidewalk running through the heart of Times Square and mowed down pedestrians for three blocks, killing a teenager, then emerged from his wrecked vehicle wild-eyed and waving his arms before he was subdued by police and bystanders.
Helpless pedestrians had little time to react as the car barreled down the sidewalk and through intersections before smashing into a row of steel security barriers installed in recent years to prevent vehicle attacks on the square where massive crowds gather every New Year's Eve. The car came to rest with its two right wheels in the air.
Calpipe, the manufacturer of the steel security barriers, is located in Rancho Dominguez. The company makes safety and security barriers used in spots like the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach.
As New York City engineers examine the Times Square wreck, Calpipe will work with them to determine if improvements to the protective posts are necessary, Rob Reiter, the firm's security consultant, told KPCC.
"And from that, we'll decide if in the next phases, because they'll be more and more phases to protect the public there," he said. "Because again, we have some limitations to what we can and can't do, but there's always ways that we can improve our product."
The security posts used in Times Square are designed to stop a vehicle moving at 30 miles per hour, he said.
Witnesses to the wreck in Times Square say they watched in horror as the car plowed into a group of pedestrians, killing one and injuring 22 others.
John Fanning witnessed the crash and described it as a horrific scene.
"It looked like at least a dozen people that were injured. And there's blood everywhere," he said. "It's pretty bad."
Authorities have arrested a man who they say had two prior arrests for driving under the influence.
New York Police say they don't suspect a link to terrorism, but a bomb squad was called as a precaution to check the wreckage. Authorities also have video of the crash.
Parts of Times Square have been roped off to keep pedestrians, tourists and others away from the crash site.