WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – The young woman killed in Westminster when her car was struck by a vehicle engaged in a street race, has been identified as Annika Williams. The crash happened Sunday evening in Westminster at 105th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard. Westminster Police say they received a call around 9:15 p.m.
A witness and another officer performed CPR on Williams until help arrived, but the 21-year-old did not survive.
According to police, Williams was heading north on Sheridan Boulevard and attempting to make a left hand turn onto 105th when she was hit by one of two vehicles street-racing northbound on Sheridan Boulevard.
Shimpson Huynh, 30, was driving the car that hit Williams, police say. Adiran Lau, 21, was driving the second vehicle involved in the street race. Police say both men stayed at the scene, were arrested, and charged with reckless driving and vehicular homicide.
Police do not believe that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash, but say both drivers were traveling at excessive speeds.
CBS4 spoke to Williams’ mother who described her daughter as a bright light and always wanted to help others. She worked in the health care industry and received her CNA license to pay her way through school at the University of Colorado where she was studying integrative physiology.
Despite efforts by police departments in Westminster and across the state to curb street racing incidents, community members have been vocal on social media about the ongoing issues, particularly along Sheridan Boulevard.
Ryan Varner lives approximately 9 minutes from where Williams was killed and says he can hear cars racing on a nightly basis.
“The nice thing about Colorado is when the sun sets, you can have your windows open and kind of turn off the AC, so it’s nice to have the windows open,” Varner said. “In this particular area almost every single night, even at 2 or 3 in the morning, you just hear loud cars speeding off and racing each other, and it’s just, it’s a nuisance to say the least, to have them all racing around our area. Then now, when you factor in someone actually being a victim of manslaughter, I mean it’s gone too far.”
Varner is also familiar with the intersection where Williams was killed. He says even during the day without street racers, it’s a dangerous left-hand turn.
“The biggest thing is that there’s a big hill there and so when you’re turning left, it’s almost a blind spot so that if you’re trying to yield and make that turn, if someone is going the speed limit, that’s one thing but a high rate of speed? I could see exactly how something like this would take place. If people are speeding it’s very hard to make that turn,” said Varner.
Varner believes more patroling of reckless drivers needs to happen.
“Just in general in that area, I just wish there was a high police presence. Especially late at night starting at 8, 9 o’clock at night throughout the night and just kinda keep an eye out ’cause like I said, this isn’t a one-off situation. There’s racing going on every single day in that area, and it’s a safe area, but you don’t find many patrol cars out and about,” he said.
In a news release, Westminster said significant efforts have been made to curb incidents of street racing.
In 2021, the Westminster Police Department partnered with other agencies throughout the State of Colorado and through a special task force, worked 3,344 hours making over 1000 contacts and issuing 829 summonses.
Westminster Officers also participated in the North Metro Speed Enforcement Group. Between May and August, this group reported the following statistics:
- 230 Traffic contacts
- Issued 226 summons
- 9 arrests
- Provided 122 warnings
- Impounded nine vehicles
- 28 cars eluded officers
In addition, the website reportstreetracing.com was established in an effort to allow citizens to report street racing. Through this website, 113 reports were made in the city of Westminster.
Sunday’s crash remains under investigation. Police are asking that anyone who witnessed the crash to please call 303-658-4360.