The group of six teenage boys was reportedly driving a 2002 Toyota Prius, while the other man sat behind the wheel of an Infiniti Q50

By Benjamin VanHoose
January 21, 2020 09:29 AM
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Credit: GoFundMe; Family Photo (2)

Three 16-year-old boys are dead after another driver allegedly purposely rammed into their vehicle, causing them to crash, multiple outlets report.

Authorities arrested a 42-year-old man, identified as Anurag Chandra, in connection to the Sunday night car crash, which also landed three other teen passengers in the hospital, KTLA reports.

The incident happened in Temescal Valley, California, when the car — driven by an 18-year-old with five minors riding along — was believed to have been rammed by another vehicle, causing it to hit a tree at around 10:30 p.m., according to the outlet. Three of the passengers were trapped inside the wreckage as the others were outside the car.

One boy was pronounced dead at the scene, two others died at the hospital and the remaining three suffered non-life-threatening injuries, KABC reports.

The three fatal victims were identified as Daniel Hawkins, Jacob Ivascu and Drake Ruiz, all of whom were 16 years old, NBC Los Angeles, KTLA, and CBS Los Angeles report.

The 18-year-old driver survived the crash, as did the two 13-year-olds.

The boys were reportedly driving a 2002 Toyota Prius, and the other man was behind the wheel of an Infiniti Q50.

Representatives from the California Highway Patrol did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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After the crash, a witness followed the solo male driver and reported his location to the police. Authorities arrested him at about 2:45 a.m., according to KTLA.

David Yokley of the California Highway Patrol said in a press conference that there is not yet a motive behind the incident, though the driver is being held on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

“Obviously there was some sort of contact which led to this incident whereby he felt — or he did — [intentionally] ram this vehicle, causing the deaths of these three young boys,” Yokley told reporters.

Speaking with KTLA, one woman who identified herself as the mother of one of the victims, said that the group of friends were together for one of their birthdays.

They were pranking houses by ringing doorbells and driving away when they likely upset the man who allegedly chased them and ultimately caused the fatal crash, she explained.