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Three California teens killed in car-ramming crash after ‘Ding Dong Ditch’ prank were ‘inseparable’

The three youngsters killed late Sunday night time, Jan. 19, when authorities say a driver deliberately rammed their automotive south of Corona, had been “inseparable,” mentioned those that knew them.

“Our academics had been all going by way of our yearbooks and each image we now have of these three boys, they had been at all times collectively and at all times being inseparable and at all times being goofballs,” mentioned Mandy Logan, principal of Olive Department Group Church and College in Corona.

The three 16-year-old associates who died within the Temescal Valley collision attended the varsity by way of eighth grade.

Daniel Hawkins, of Corona; Jacob Ivascu, of Riverside; and Drake Ruiz, of Corona, together with three different boys, had stopped to tug a prank on their solution to a sleepover for Ivascu’s birthday. In keeping with Ruiz’s mom, Debbie Ruiz, they had been taking part in “Ding Dong Ditch,” ringing the doorbell and operating away earlier than it was answered. They thought that they had stopped at a buddy’s home.

Craig Hawkins, father of Daniel Hawkins, thanks the group for its assist of his household and the households of the 2 different boys who had been killed in a Jan. 19, 2020 crash in Temescal Valley that prompted homicide fees in opposition to the opposite driver. Fourth from left is Alex Ivascu, father of Jacob Ivascu. At proper is Debbie Ruiz, mom of Drake Ruiz. The three mother and father spoke outdoors Superior Court docket on Jan. 23. (Brian Rokos/The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) 

As a substitute, they rang the doorbell of Anurag Chandra.

Chandra, a 42-year-old Temescal Valley man, pursued the boys, who had been accompanied by three different teenagers, in his white Infiniti sedan, authorities mentioned. He rammed the Toyota Prius wherein the boys had been driving, in line with the CHP. The affect despatched the automotive right into a tree at Temescal Canyon Highway and Trilogy Parkway.

One boy was pronounced useless on the scene. Two died at a hospital. The opposite three had been anticipated to outlive, as of Monday.

Chandra was arrested on suspicion of homicide and assault with a lethal weapon. Prices in opposition to him had been upgraded to a few counts of homicide and three counts of tried homicide on Thursday, Jan. 23.

“Each child does ‘Ding Dong Ditch,’ however you don’t know who’s behind that door,” Debbie Ruiz mentioned. “From the minute I heard it, I knew God had a plan … I couldn’t not suppose this manner, as a result of God is greater than us.”

Chandra already confronted fees of misdemeanor battery on a partner or cohabitant and willful damage to a toddler filed in December.


The boys had been remembered nearly as good associates who liked sports activities and their church.

All six boys within the Prius attended Olive Department Group Church and College by way of eighth grade.

Logan remembers Hawkins, Ivascu and Ruiz effectively. Hawkins and Ruiz began on campus as preschoolers. Ivascu enrolled just a few years later. After that, the three boys had been “inseparable,” Logan mentioned Thursday.

“Drake was form of our humorous man. He was at all times making youngsters chortle. Daniel was form of a jock. I can’t bear in mind a time when he didn’t have a basketball in his palms,” Logan mentioned. “Jacob was form of their silent chief. If he mentioned to do one thing, they’d do it.”

All three ran cross-country for the varsity, which has fewer than 250 college students.

Logan, who wept as she remembered the kids, mentioned their deaths have hit the group laborious.

“When you’ve got youngsters like that, once you work with youngsters, they’re like your youngsters,” she mentioned. “You watch them develop up. We’re a small faculty, so that they’re like household.”

“It takes a village to lift kiddos and I form of really feel like we’re their village, together with Woodcrest and Centennial and all these different (faculties),” Logan mentioned.

Daniel Hawkins

Hawkins went to Santiago Excessive College within the Corona-Norco Unified College District, the place he performed soccer. He was at all times “working” to enhance, in line with his coach, Ralph Valdez.

“Week in and week out, you simply bought higher and higher,” Valdez posted on Twitter on Monday. “You had been an important soul.”

Hawkins could be missed, however “God wants you now,” Valdez wrote.

Talking Thursday outdoors court docket, his father, Craig Hawkins expressed his disappointment.

“These aren’t simply figures. They’re boys,” Hawkins mentioned. “It’s much more devastating as a result of they had been such good associates.”

Jacob Ivascu

“My household and I’ve been falling aside,” Alex Ivascu, Jacob’s father, mentioned Thursday. Jacob was the eldest of 5 youngsters and was like a 3rd father or mother to his siblings, in line with his father.

Ivascu attended Woodcrest Christian Excessive College in Riverside, the place he performed flag soccer and soccer.

“Our campus is simply shaken by this,” mentioned David Lytle, a Woodcrest historical past trainer and assistant flag soccer coach.

On Wednesday, Ivascu’s teammates on the Woodcrest boy’s varsity soccer staff all wore his jersey quantity — 25 — in his reminiscence throughout a match in opposition to San Bernardino’s Aquinas Excessive College.

The coach mentioned Ivascu “buzzed off his lengthy hair” this yr. Within the teen’s honor, the opposite soccer gamers shaved their heads.

“He was pleasant and humorous and good and he was a very good buddy, too,” Lytle mentioned. “Lots of people on this campus really feel like they misplaced a greatest buddy.”

The campus gathered at a Tuesday morning meeting to speak about Jacob Ivascu’s loss of life and to wish, Lytle mentioned. Counselors had been out there for college kids and employees to talk to.

“There have been courses with three college students in them as a result of the opposite youngsters had been speaking to counselors,” Lytle mentioned.

Individuals on campus are unhappy, he mentioned, however they’re additionally offended at what they view as an “uncalled for and mindless” act.

“He was the form of child most mother and father would have been proud to have as their son,” Lytle mentioned.

Drake Ruiz

Ruiz had turned 16 on New 12 months’s Eve, in line with a GoFundMe web page set as much as defray funeral prices.

“He was a loving son, a sort brother and was liked by everybody who knew him,” the web page reads partially. “He was genuinely an important child.”

After leaving Olive Department, Ruiz attended Corona’s Centennial Excessive College, the place he performed soccer.

“He was a category clown,” Debbie Ruiz, Drake Ruiz’s mom, mentioned.

“Pleasure and happiness had been his important priorities in life,” she added. “We had lots of enjoyable collectively. Particularly with their boys. It was my aim that we now have enjoyable. And we had lots of enjoyable.”

Vigil, service scheduled

Rosemarie Block
Rosemarie has been writing in the sports niche for quite some years now and has served as a journalist for popular sports websites. She currently contributes her experience for Scoop Square24 by writing about the latest happenings in the Sports world.