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Murder charges filed against man in crash that killed three teen boys

January 31, 2020

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif – On Thursday, January 23 the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office charged a Corona area man with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the weekend crash that killed three 16-year-old boys and injured three other teens.

Anurag Chandra (age 42 of the unincorporated area of Corona) was arraigned in Dept. 61, at the Hall of Justice in Riverside. Along with the attempted murder and murder charges, the DA’s Office has filed a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders.

The fatal crash happened the night of Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, on Temescal Canyon Road. The six teens were in a 2002 Toyota Prius that was forced off the road and slammed into a tree on the east side of the roadway.

Killed in the crash were Daniel Hawkins, Jacob Ivascu, and Drake Ruiz, all 16 years old. The 18-year-old driver of the Prius as well as two other boys ages 13 and 14, were injured but survived.

The investigation conducted by the California Highway Patrol revealed that the boys were having a sleepover and ultimately dared one of the friends to do a “doorbell ditch”, so they drove to a nearby house. Once there, one of the boys rang the doorbell of a home on Modjeska Summit Road and ran back to the Prius.

Based on evidence gathered in the investigation, Chandra, the resident of the home, chased after the Prius in his 2019 Infinity Q50. Ultimately, as both vehicles approached Squaw Mountain Road, Chandra’s vehicle collided with the back of the Prius, causing it to veer off the road and into a tree.

Chandra was later arrested at his home by CHP officers and booked at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.

The case, RIF2000290, is being prosecuted by Deputy DA Kevin Beecham of the DA’s Homicide Trial Team.

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