Westminster police chase crash: Suspect charged with murder


Aleksandar Apostoloic, 26, faced a judge on Monday. He is charged in the death of Vivian Nguyen, who was killed last Friday when the van she was riding in was struck near Hoover Street and Trask Avenue.

Police say Apostoloic, who was wanted on suspicion of a weapons violation and drug trafficking, refused to pull over, rammed a cop car and then sped away, prompting the chase.

The chase lasted about two minutes before Apostoloic crashed into two other vehicles, including the minivan carrying Vivian, her brother and mother.

"Sometimes, when the nature of the way the individual drives is such that they're knowingly exposing people to the risk of death and great bodily injury, then there is potential that a jury can find implied malice, which leads to second-degree murder," said prosecutor Jim Mendelson.

Along with the murder charge, Apostoloic is also charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.

Family members say Vivian, who was a seventh grader at Johnson Middle School in Westminster, loved to paint and play the piano. Her friends described her as a happy person.

"Vivian was very happy, intelligent," said friend Alex Pham. "She was very optimistic. She just had an aura of being joyful."

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