Anurag Chandra Corona California man arrested after intentionally ramming his car into a car with six teen boys, leading to the car crashing and killing three teens.
Anurag Chandra, 42, of Corona, was arrested shortly after driving his white Infiniti sedan into a Toyota Prius, sending the vehicle into a tree in Temescal Valley, and killing three teen boys the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Of the 6 teen male occupants, three boys were killed.
‘It was an intentional act,’ California Highway Patrol Lt. David Yokley told during a Monday press conference. ‘Our investigation led us to believe Mr. Chandra intentionally rammed the Prius, causing the driver to lose control. The investigation has now changed from a hit-run collision to homicide.’
Police were able to bust the fleeing motorist after an individual who witnessed the crash followed Chandra from the crash scene to a nearby home, where he was arrested Monday morning the Desert Sun reported
Suspect gave chase after teens playing a game knocked on his front door:
Questions remain whether road rage was involved, with investigators saying the teen victims knew the man was targeting them. Chandra is now facing charges of suspicion of murder and assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder, Yokley said.
Asked what could have compelled Chandra the police lieutenant was lost for answers.
‘We really don’t know,’ Yokley said of a possible motive. ‘Obviously, there was some sort of contact. We are looking into those exact same questions, of whether or not he was known to the victims.’
Three of the teens were trapped inside the Prius and had to be rescued by firefighters at the scene, where one of them was pronounced dead. Two others succumbed to their injuries at hospitals.
A coroner’s office identified the deceased boys as Daniel Hawkins, 16, of Corona; Drake Ruiz, 16, of Corona; and Jacob Ivascu, 16, of Riverside.
The surviving victims were 13-year-olds Joshua Hawkins and Joshua Ivascu, and 18-year-old Sergio Campusano. They were all part of their church youth ministry.
The injured teens are expected to survive. It wasn’t immediately clear whether any of the teens were wearing seat belts, authorities said.
Of disconcert, cbslosangeles reported family members saying the teens had been celebrating Jacob’s birthday, playing “ding-dong-ditch” when a man answered the door they had knocked on – only for the irate man to give chase after the teens.
‘When he came out and got in his car to chase after them, they fled for their lives basically,’ Debbie Ruiz, Drake’s mom, said.
Chandra allegedly chased the teens until he caught up to them and rammed his vehicle into the their vehicle before driving off.
CHP officers arrested Chandra about a half-mile from the scene.
Police now believe Chandra’s actions were motivated out of spite towards the youths.
Teens part of church group remembered:
All six had attended Olive Branch Church & School in Corona, staffers posted on Facebook.
‘Our prayers go out to God for His grace, comfort, and mercy to the families at this time,’ the statement read.
More than 100 people gathered for a prayer service in Corona late Monday at Northpoint Evangelical Free Church, where the teens had been active members, a spokesman told the Riverside Press Enterprise.
‘They were bright young kids that had so much to look forward to and it was taken far too early,’ spokesman Tim East said.
Alcohol or drugs did not appear to be a factor in the crash, but toxicology tests are still pending. Chandra remained in custody in Riverside County without bail late Monday.
‘There is no greater tragedy that the death of a young person, and we offer our sincere condolences and continued support to the families,’ the Corona-Norco Unified School District said in a statement.