Florida day care center crash: Suspect surrenders to authorities after girl, 4, dies
WINTER PARK, Florida (CNN) — Robert Alex Corchado — who police say fled the scene after his SUV hit a car, sending it into a Winter Park day care center, killing a 4-year-old girl — turned himself into authorities Thursday, Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Maj. Cindy Williams said.
Police believe Corchado has ties to the Latin Kings gang and is a convicted drug dealer. Corchado fled the scene and ditched his Dodge Dorango before renting another SUV.
Lily Quintus, 4, was among 50 children at a KinderCare in Winter Park when a car slammed through a wall. She died later a a hospital.
Her mother, Nicole Quintus, is devastated, the New York Daily News reported.
“I have no idea how I’m supposed to survive after this. I don’t know how I’m supposed to go back to a daily routine. I’m wandering about, lost,” she told the paper.
Nicole Quintus called her daughter “painfully beautiful” and said, “She was incredible and she deserved so much more.”
Lily’s 7-year-old brother aspires to be an engineer and is building a time machine out of his Erector set so he can bring his sister back, the Daily News reported.
Lily’s father is a paramedic with the Groveland Fire Department and one of his coworkers set up a page so people could donate funds for the funeral.
Twelve children and one adult were taken to four nearby hospitals, said John Mulhall, a spokesman for Orange County Fire Rescue. Two other people were treated at the scene, but Mulhall didn’t disclose whether they were children or adults.
One child was pinned by the car, a Toyota Camry Solara convertible.
“It was tragic,” Jeezy Jenkins told CNN affiliate WKMG. He was working on a nearby roof when the accident happened.
“It was just kids on the ground and there was teachers giving CPR. It was horrible. I’ve never seen nothing like that before, and I hope I never have to see something like that again.”
The driver of the car that was forced into the day care center wasn’t injured. He waited at the scene as workers loaded his car onto a tow truck.
“We are heartbroken that several of the children in our care and an adult were injured in an accident today,” KinderCare said in a prepared statement. “We are pulling for those who have been injured to quickly recover from this tragic accident.”
There were about 50 children in the day care at the time of the incident.
By Ed Payne, Steve Almasy and John Couwels with contribution from Suzanne Presto and Carma Hassan.