A California man “intentionally rammed” his vehicle into a car carrying six teenage boys, killing three and injuring the others, before driving off, authorities said.
The deadly crash occurred Sunday night around 10:30 p.m. local time on a roadway in the Temescal Valley, some 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The hit caused the teens’ Toyota Prius to slam into a tree off the road, and first responders had to free three of the boys who were trapped in the wrecked vehicle, according to the California Highway Patrol.
One of the teens died at the scene, while the other five were transported to local hospitals with injuries ranging from moderate to serious. Two of them were later pronounced dead, according to the California Highway Patrol. Their names and exact ages were not immediately released.
Anurag Chandra, 42, of Corona, California, was arrested Monday in a neighborhood near the crash site after investigators found the suspect vehicle parked outside a home there.
“Our investigation led us to believe Mr. Chandra intentionally rammed the Prius, causing the driver to lose control,” Lt. David Yokley of the California Highway Patrol said at a press conference Monday, calling the incident “an intentional act.”
“The investigation has now changed from a hit-run collision to homicide,” he added.
The incident remains under investigation. The motive was unknown.
Chandra was booked at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, California, where he is being held without bail on three counts of murder and other related charges. He is due to appear in court Thursday morning, according to online jail records.
It’s unclear whether Chandra has obtained a lawyer.