A 40-year-old man is facing murder and other serious charges for a traffic death that happened after the second of two police chases, with the first one having started in Westminster Monday night.
Javier Montoya, who received minor injuries in the crash, was arrested on suspicion of murder, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, felony evasion and for having outstanding warrants for narcotics violations and resisting arrest, according to Westminster Police Sgt. Mike Chapman.
A report of someone threatening another with a simulated weapon sent cops to the 6700 block of Westminster Boulevard around 7:15 p.m. Monday, when a 2005 Ford F-150 pickup truck with a driver and passenger inside sped off, Chapman said.
With a police car in pursuit on the northbound 405 freeway, the truck braked suddenly, causing the cop cruiser to rear-end the pickup and then sideswipe a second law enforcement unit chasing the suspect vehicle, according to the Westminster PD account that indicates the truck was lost in the Long Beach area. No officers were hurt but one police car was damaged.
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Around 11:10 p.m., a Westminster police detective spotted a 2005 Ford F-150 pickup truck in the same area as the original offense, sparking a second chase that lasted about a half hour and also included units from Anaheim and the Los Angeles County sheriff's department, according to police.
Covering surface streets and the 405 freeway at high rates of speed, the pursuit ended around 11:40 p.m. when the truck left the transition road from the northbound 405 to the southbound 710, struck a power pole and then a tree and burst into flames.
The driver, identified as Montoya, miraculously survived but his unidentified passenger died at the scene, according to police.