Survivor says doorbell-ringing prank led to deadly attack

California
An officer with the California Highway Patrol's (CHP) Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) investigates the scene of a deadly crash in the Temescal Valley, south of Corona, Calif., Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. A Southern California driver intentionally rammed a Toyota Prius with several teenage boys inside, killing a few and injuring a few others before fleeing, authorities said Monday. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)

An officer with the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) investigates the scene of a deadly crash in the Temescal Valley, south of Corona, Calif., Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. A Southern California driver intentionally rammed a Toyota Prius with several teenage boys inside, killing a few and injuring a few others before fleeing, authorities said Monday. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)

TEMESCAL VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — A doorbell-ringing prank led a man to chase and ram a car full of teenagers, killing three, a survivor said.

Three other teen boys were injured when their Toyota Prius was struck, went off the road and slammed into a tree Sunday night in Temescal Valley, about 60 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

A witness chased the other car, a Honda Infiniti, and alerted California Highway Patrol officers who found it parked at a nearby home and arrested Anurag Chandra on suspicion of murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Chandra, 42, remained jailed without bail on Wednesday. It wasn’t clear whether he had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.

Calls to the California Highway Patrol seeking updated information on the crash were not immediately returned Wednesday.

RELATED: CHP: Driver rammed car and killed 3 teenagers inside

The chase began after the friends dared one boy to either jump into a pool at night or play “ding dong ditch,” the driver, 18-year-old Sergio Campusano, told KNBC-TV.

One of the boys got out of the car at the home of a stranger, rang the doorbell and then ran back to the car after a man opened it, Campusano said.

Campusano drove away, but then found he was being followed.

“I just saw these brights behind me, and I realized he was getting closer and closer,” he said.

The Infiniti nudged the back of the Prius.

“My friends started screaming. They’re like: ‘Make it to the freeway! Make it to the freeway, like, try to lose him there,’ ” Campusano said.

Instead, Campusano decided to head for a friend’s home, but the Infiniti caught up with his car.

“I just saw him ram his car into my back and I whipped into my window and I blacked out,” he said.

He woke up on the floor.

The crash killed 16-year-olds Daniel Hawkins of Corona; Drake Ruiz of Corona; and Jacob Ivascu of Riverside, according to the Riverside County coroner’s office.

Campusano survived along with 13-year-olds Joshua Hawkins and Joshua Ivascu.

“I loved each and every one of them. I still do. And I’m going to really miss them all,” said Campusano, who had a bandage on his forehead. “They were all a part of me. I don’t know what I’m going to do without them.”

Chandra already was facing criminal charges in connection with alleged domestic violence, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported, citing court records.

He was charged last month with misdemeanor battery on a spouse or cohabitant and willful injury to a child — his daughter — stemming from a Sept. 9 incident, the newspaper said.

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