Hit and Run at Day Care in Florida Kills a Child


MIAMI — A hit-and-run crash sent a car barreling through the wooden wall of a crowded day care center on Wednesday in a suburb of Orlando, killing one girl and injuring 15 people, at least 12 of them children, some of them grievously, the authorities said. One adult was also hospitalized.

A silver Dodge Durango collided with a Toyota convertible, causing the Toyota to crash into the day care center with 50 children. The driver of the Durango fled in the vehicle after the accident. The Florida Highway Patrol identified the suspect as Robert Corchado, 28, a convicted felon.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers found parked outside a house a Durango with a damaged bumper that fit the description of the vehicle in the accident, said Sgt. Wanda Diaz, a spokeswoman for the patrol.

Ronny Avellan, who was repairing the roof of a gas station next to the day care center, said, “What I saw, I can’t take the picture out of my mind.”

“It was chaos everywhere,” he said. “The vehicle was inside the day care, almost in the middle, and there were kids everywhere, on tables and running around. I saw one of the teachers giving CPR to a child.”

It was shortly after 3 p.m. when the black Toyota Solara burst through the day care center in a working-class section of Winter Park, coming to a stop inside one of the play areas. Ambulances arrived quickly and took 13 people to hospitals.

Mr. Corchado, a Winter Park resident, served two years of a three-year sentence for cocaine trafficking, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. In December, he was arrested in nearby Seminole County and charged with possession and intent to sell cocaine, heroin and marijuana and for crashing and leaving the scene of the accident, according to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. He was released from jail on bail.


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