Police have claimed Anurag Chandra slammed the boys’ vehicle with his car, sending it flying into a tree, after they played “ding dong” on his door bell.
Survivors told media in Corona, California, that the incident happened after a group friends dared each other to jump into Mr Chandra’s pool, or else ring his bell.
Sergio Campusano, 18, who was driving the boys’ car told KNBC-TV, he had stopped outside the home of stranger, and that one of the boys got out and rang on the door.
Mr Campusano said he drove away but soon discovered he was being followed.
The boys were then chased, before being forced off the road and hitting a tree, he said.
The crash killed 16-year-olds Daniel Hawkins, Drake Ruiz and Jacob Ivascu according to the Riverside County coroner’s office. The three others, Mr Campusano, and 13-year-olds Joshua Hawkins and Joshua Ivascu, survived the incident.
Police said Mr Chandra had been charged with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
When he made a brief court appearance this week, he did not enter a plea.
He has been assigned a public defender lawyer to represent him.
Wanda Teifel, who set up a memorial evening at the tree where the boys crashed, said she knew Drake Ruiz.
“He loved God. He loved his family and his brothers,” Ms Teifel told KTLA. “He’d always come give me a hug.”
Ruiz played football at Centennial High School in Corona and attended New Beginnings Community Church in Norco, according to a GoFundMe campaign set up to raise money for his funeral
“His mother Debbie Ruiz was not financially prepared for funeral expenses for her 16 year old son,” says the campaign page.
“Anything that you can donate will be greatly appreciated big or small. God Bless You and Yours."
Additional reporting by Associated Press