The subject of a 24-hour manhunt is now in custody after fleeing a dreadful scene, Wednesday, when he caused another car to crash into a Florida daycare. Authorities say he turned himself in almost 24 hours after the disastrous event. That may help bring a miniscule amount of relief to the parents, children, and staff of the Orlando-area daycare, but the daycare was decimated by the crash. It fatally wounded one child, and injured 12 more, as well as one adult. There were around 50 children in attendance at the Winter Park Kindercare, when the incident occurred. The driver of the vehicle, that crashed into the daycare, was not hurt during the incident. After surrendering to police, a closer look at the suspect in the Florida daycare crash, reveals he is a repeat offender.
On Wednesday, around 3:11 pm, a Toyota Solara convertible, unexpectedly, tore through the middle of a Winter Park childcare center, after being hit by a silver Dodge Durango. The driver of the Durango, Robert Alex Corchado, is a convicted drug dealer, and is said to have ties with the Latin Kings, one of the largest, and most organized street gangs in existence. It appears, the Florida daycare crash suspect, who voluntarily surrendered to police, is a repeat offender when it comes to fleeing crash sites. Corchado, just 28 years old, has already been convicted of extortion, and trafficking cocaine, which landed him three years in prison. His arrest record dates back to 2000, with at least eight arrests spanning that time. Most recently, Corchado was out on bail for an arrest that occurred in December, where he fled the scene of another car crash, unrelated to the recent daycare tragedy. With that arrest, he was charged with fleeing the scene of an accident that involved damage, possession of marijuana, and selling narcotics. He pleaded not guilty to those charges, and was released on $10,000 bail. Corchado is now being held at the Orange County jail, on over $100,000 bail.
Four-year-old Lily Quintus was the child fatally wounded in the crash. She had just sat down to her afternoon snack, when the car burst through the building, hitting the child. Her mother, Nicole Quintus, is utterly distraught, as she struggles to cope with the loss of her daughter. Quintus says she has no idea how she will return to daily life, or how she will survive without her daughter. The girl’s mother also said, her 7-year-old brother hopes to become an engineer someday, and build a time machine to bring his little sister back. Two other children remain in serious condition, at Arnold Palmer Hospital, in Orlando. A 3-year-old is also there, in critical condition.
Bystanders said the incident was tragic and horrible. They recall seeing children laying everywhere, bleeding and crying, with teachers desperately giving CPR to those they could reach. Reportedly, one child had to be extracted by emergency workers, after becoming pinned underneath the car. The scene was described as chaotic and out-of-control, as teachers tried to save lives, and bystanders looked on, in horror. A little over a dozen people were rushed to four different area hospitals, as a result of the crash. Kindercare has issued a statement, saying they are “heart-broken” over the victims that were injured while in their care. They stated that they are pulling for everyone involved, to make a quick recovery from this life-altering, and unfortunate, event. At present, no one knows what the outcome will be for the repeat offending suspect that caused a car to crash into a Florida daycare, but the victims of the terrifying incident can now breathe a small sigh of relief, knowing Robert Alex Corchado has finally surrendered to police.
by Melissa A. White-Jantzen