It's been almost exactly five years that a Portage teen, Alyssa Elsman was killed by a car that plowed into a crowd of people in New York City's Times Square.

"This was a whole piece of my life that was ripped out that I'll never get back." - Ava


The trial for the man accused of killing Elsman and seriously injuring 22 others began in New York City on Monday and Elsman's younger sister, who was 13 at the time of incident was the first to testify, recounting painful memories.

In opening statements, prosecutors shows surveillance video from Times Square that the car Rojas was driving was being driven "with precision", while defense lawyers claim that Rojas, a Navy veteran, had tried just the day before to get help at a local VA facility, claiming he was hearing voices in his head.

(NBC New York via YouTube)

The first person to testify was Ava Elsman, Alyssa's younger sister, who was 13 at the time. “I just looked up and I saw the car turn and that was the last thing I saw,” she testified in court, according to the New York Post.

Elsman recalled "just trying to lay there [and] not die.”

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Rojas faces civil charges, that are pending the outcome of this criminal trial.

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