Los Angeles authorities believe that a hit-and-run crash on Sunday night in Temescal Valley that left three teenagers dead was caused intentionally by the suspect driver.
ABC News reports that the crash happened at approximately 10:30 p.m. on a road located about 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles when a Toyota Prius carrying six teenaged boys was rammed by another vehicle. The collision caused the Prius to go off the road and crash into a group of large trees.
Paramedics and the California Highway Patrol arrived at the crash site where one teen was declared dead at the scene. Three of the boys had to be extricated from the wreckage of their vehicle. All five surviving teens were transported to an area hospital for treatment. According to a statement released by the CHP, their injuries ranged from moderate to life-threatening.
Two teens later died at the hospital as a result of the injuries they suffered in the crash. Authorities have not released their names and ages.
Police later found the suspect vehicle and arrested 42-year-old Anurag Chandra a short distance away from where the fatal crash happened.
Lt. David Yokley, with the California Highway Patrol, told ABC that investigators believe that Chandra intentionally rammed the Prius. “The investigation has now changed from a hit-and-run to a homicide,” Yokley said.
Chandra was taken to Riverside, where he was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center. He is being held on three counts of murder and additional related charges related to the incident. Court documents indicate Chandra is being held without bail and is due to appear in court on Thursday, January 23rd.
The accident is still currently under investigation, and authorities have not yet determined a motive as to why Chandra intentionally rammed the Prius filled with teenagers.