A California man is facing murder charges after police say he intentionally rammed his vehicle into another, resulting in the death of three teenage boys.
The incident took place Sunday around 10:30 p.m. (1:30 a.m. ET) about 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles near Corona, when the man, police said, rammed into a 2002 Prius, causing the driver of the vehicle to lose control and hit a tree. There were six teenagers in the car, including an 18-year-old driver, according to CNN affiliate KTLA.
Three passengers were trapped in the car and had to be taken out using the Jaws of Life, according to CNN affiliate KCAL. One of the teens died at the scene, and the other five were taken to a hospital where two more died, a spokesperson with the California Highway Patrol told KCAL. Three of the boys had non-life threatening injuries, said California Highway Patrol Lt. David Yokley.
Anurag Chandra, 42, was taken into custody without incident and was charged with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder, Yokley said. It is unclear if Chandra has an attorney.
The initial investigation led authorities to believe it was a hit-and-run incident, however, witnesses came forward after following Chandra to his home and alerting police. Further investigation determined the crash was an intentional act. Authorities are now treating the incident as a homicide investigation, Yokley said.
It is also unclear if Chandra or any of the boys knew each other, Yokley said.
“We really don’t know, obviously there was some sort of contact. We’re looking into those exact same questions of whether or not he was known to the victims,” Yokley said. “There was some sort of contact which led to this incident.”
Yokley said there’s no indication that drugs or alcohol played a factor in this crash.
CNN has reached out to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office.
By Amir Vera, CNN