Street racers sentenced for the 2021 vehicular murder of Annika Williams

GOLDEN, Colo. (Apr. 3, 2023) – Shimpson Huynh and Adrian Lau were sentenced on Friday by the First Judicial District Court for the crash that killed 21-year-old Annika Williams in Westminster on Nov. 14, 2021. Huynh and Lau were street racing when Huynh’s vehicle struck Williams, killing her and her dog. Huynh and Lau were tried by separate juries earlier this year.

Family and friends of Williams passionately addressed the court and spoke of a young woman with a heart of gold who loved life and serving others. Williams was a CNA and student at CU Boulder with aspirations of becoming a physical therapist. Please see the full statement from the family below.

On Jan. 12, 2023, a jury found Lau not guilty of Vehicular Homicide and guilty of Speed Contest (T1), Speeding 20-24 Over the Limit, and Careless Driving (T2). As a result of these verdicts, Lau faced up to a year in jail. On Friday, the court sentenced Lau to 9 months in jail, and he was remanded.

On Feb. 8, 2023, a jury found Huynh guilty of Vehicular Homicide-Reckless Driving (F4), Speed Contest (T1), Tampering W/Physical Evidence-Destroy (F6), Careless Driving (T2) and Speeding 40/More Over Limit (T2). The court sentenced Huynh to the maximum of 6 years in the Department of Corrections.

“We hope the imposed sentences affirm that street racing behavior is not tolerated in our community and on our roads,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Amy Petri Beard. “The reckless conduct of racers endangers countless lives, and we extend our gratitude to the juries who served and the Westminster Police Department for their efforts in bringing this case to justice.”

In separate hearings, Huynh and Lau addressed the court, admitting to street racing that night and expressing remorse for their actions.  “I would give up everything to bring her back,” said Huynh. 

On Nov. 14, 2021, at approximately 9:15 p.m., first responders were dispatched to a crash at 105th and Sheridan Boulevard.  Williams, driving a 2018 Honda HRV, was attempting a legal U-turn from the left turn lane of northbound Sheridan Boulevard when she was hit at a high rate of speed by Huynh’s 2016 Infinity Q50. Williams was transported to a nearby hospital but died shortly after. William’s dog “Alfie” was also killed in the crash.

The Westminster Police Department’s Traffic Accident Investigation Team determined Huynh was traveling 99mph approaching 105th Avenue and approximately 86mph at the time of impact. Huynh’s Infinity Q50 was not street legal, with a “Piggyback” on it that affected the fuel and boost of the engine. Huynh immediately removed his dashcam from his vehicle in an attempt to conceal its existence. Investigators were eventually able to collect it.

Statement issued by the family of Annika Williams:

Annika was a beautiful soul.  A young woman with a heart of gold and her entire life ahead of her.  She had goals, dreams, and ambitions.  She was majoring in Integrative Physiology at CU Boulder with the dream of becoming a physical therapist.  She started working as a CNA at 19 years old to gain experience in the healthcare field, and by 20 she was working in hospice.  She gave care, comfort, and dignity to people in their last days.

 For Annika healthcare was about caring. She always took an interest in her patients.  If they liked a certain type of music, she would be sure to download it for them to play at her next visit.  Or bring art supplies if they had an interest in art.  She could have come in and only done her job, but she always went above and beyond because that’s who she was.  She had a servant’s heart.

In Annika’s 21 years on this earth she touched so many lives.  Now this world is robbed of her life, her love of life, and the innumerable other ways she enriched the lives of everyone who knew her. 

We are glad that Annika was not forgotten at the sentencing stage and that the defendants have real consequences for their selfish actions.  No one should be driving 100mph on a busy city street. The pain the defendants have caused our family and everyone who knew and loved Annika has been unbearable. We need to continue to hold street racers accountable for their actions.  This is not a movie.  People are dying and this time it was our daughter.