Driver Fleeing From Police Kills 12-Year-Old After Crashing Into Minivan
Police arrested a 26-year-old man who led authorities on a car chase in Westminster on Thursday and crashed his car into a family's minivan, killing a 12-year-old girl.
Authorities spotted Aleksandar Apostoloic around 6 p.m. at a traffic signal near Sigler Park and tried to stop the wanted man for weapons violations and narcotics trafficking, according to CBS Los Angeles. When they approached him, he intentionally rammed his black Chevy Suburban into a patrol car and fled.
As police pursued Apostoloic, the suspect tried to turn left on Trask Avenue and broadsided a minivan that had a family of three—a mother, her 13-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter—inside of it, the O.C. Register reported. The suspect's Suburban flipped over and he ran away on foot into a residential neighborhood.
The family was rushed to UCI Medical Center, where the girl, Vivian Nguyen died, and the mother and son were reported to be in critical but stable condition, according to KABC and CBS Los Angeles.
"This is a heartbreaking loss for our school and community," Principal Andre Illig of Nguyen's middle school told CBS Los Angeles. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Counselors will be on-site to help our students and staff cope with this tragedy."
Authorities found Apostoloic nearly six hours later at 11:55 p.m. when a woman notified police that a man had gone inside her house at Chestnut Street and Brooklawn Drive, reported the O.C. Register. Apostoloic had fled from the house and police eventually found him hiding in the bushes in another resident's backyard. The police had used their helicopter's heat-mapping tools to find him and arrested him immediately.
Westminster police Sgt. Cameron Knauerhaze told City News Service that the suspect would be charged with murder, assault of a police officer with a deadly weapon, and reckless evasion.
A reporter from Univision tweeted out photos of the arrest: