WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) — Rodney Williams is devastated after the sudden loss of his 21-year-old daughter, Annika Grace.
“In total shock. In disbelief. Our lives are just shattered,” Williams said.
Annika was set to graduate from University of Colorado Boulder in May. She dreamed of becoming a physical therapist and worked at a rehabilitation and hospice facility.
“She cared for people in the worst possible situations,” Williams said. “Cared for people because they needed it — they needed the help.”
But sunday night, Annika was killed when one of two drivers street-racing in Westminster crashed into her car.
“This is a tragedy. Senseless loss of life,” Westminster Police Sgt. Ray Esslinger said.
“There are no winners in a street race,” he said.
Esslinger said Annika’s car was hit as she made a left from northbound Sheridan Boulevard onto West 105th Avenue.
Shimpson Huynh, 30, and Adrian Lau, 20, stayed on scene are being charged with vehicular homicide. Police said Huynh’s vehicle struck Annika’s.
The suspects are part of a widespread problem on colorado roadways — so much so that this summer, agencies across the state joined forces to target street racing, resulting in hundreds of citations.
“With all of the agencies in Adams County sharing street racing information and having officers from all agencies involved in enforcement, we were able to show the car clubs they are constantly being watched and their behavior will not be tolerated in our city,” the department stated in a press release. “We understand the frustration this illegal activity causes and the extreme danger it poses and we will continue to work hard on this problem.”
It’s a tragic reality for the Williams family who says this to anyone even thinking about racing on city streets.
“Look at what happened to us. Look at the lives you can potentially affect if things go bad,” Williams said.
Westminster street racing stats
The Westminster Police Department participates in the North Metro Speed Enforcement Group, which was formed to combat street racing.
Officers in Westminster have been actively combating the problem. According to the department:
Members from our department have met with car club organizers to work with them to help them understand the negative impacts of street racing. Officers have contacted several businesses with large parking lots and had them sign ‘trespass notices’ and post signs in the parking lot advising ‘No Trespassing’- this allows officers to write summonses if people associated with street racing groups show up.Westminster Police Department
From Jan. 1 to Nov. 15, Westminster dispatch received 213 calls associated with street racing. The website formed to allow citizens to report street racing, reportstreetracing.com, received 113 reports in Westminster. It’s unclear whether any calls and website reports are duplicates, according to the department.
According to the department, the group reported these statistics from May-August:
- 230 traffic contacts
- 226 summonses issued
- 9 arrests
- 122 warnings given
- 9 vehicles impounded
- 28 cars eluded officers