Three teenage boys were killed and three others were hurt when another driver intentionally rammed their vehicle, causing the car to crash into a tree in the Temescal Valley south of Corona, authorities said.
The crash was reported at 10:28 p.m. Sunday at Temescal Canyon Road and Trilogy Parkway, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
The initial investigation led the California Highway Patrol to believe it was a hit-and-run crash, but they were later able to determine -- due to witnesses that came forward -- that the deadly crash was an "intentional act."
Firefighters used the jaws of life to remove three people from the car, then took them to hospitals, fire officials said. One person was pronounced dead at the scene, fire officials said. Two died after transport, the CHP said.
Three other people in the car were injured, fire officials said.
All six people in the car were teenage boys, but their specific ages were not immediately clear.
Witnesses followed the hit-and-run driver back to a residence on Mojeska Summit Road in Corona and alerted authorities.
Anurag Chandra, 42, was detained in connection with the crash around 2:45 a.m., a CHP dispatcher said. He was booked on three murder charges.
The relationship -- if any -- between the suspect and the victims was not immediately clear.
Temescal Canyon Road was closed between Squaw Mountain Road and Trilogy Parkway for the CHP's investigation.
NBCLA's Whitney Irick contributed to this report.