On Wednesday, April 9 tragedy struck the town of Winter Park in Orange County. As of 11pm Eastern, authorities are still on the search for 26-year-old Robert Corchado, who is likely to have been the cause of the hit-and-run, which killed one child and injured at least 14 others (mostly children) at a Florida day care center. While Corchado’s Dodge Durango has been located, the ex-con is still at large.
Just after 3pm, a Toyota Solara convertible flew out of control when it was rammed, from behind, by the Durango. In turn, the car was sent smashing through the walls of the day care center, which was filled with unsuspecting children. The Dodge Durango was seen fleeing the scene of the crash. Reports claim the driver of the Toyota did not sustain injuries. So much could not be said for at least 15 others.
One child, a four-year-old girl, was killed as a result of chaotic hit-and-run at KinderCare, a day care center in Winterpark, Florida. KinderCare has been providing children and their families with their services for 25 years. 13 others were taken to five different hospitals, including one adult. Injuries range from mild to severe, with at least one victim in critical condition.
A witness, who happened to be working nearby, described the event: “… I can’t take the picture out of my mind… It was chaos everywhere… 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.” Apparently, the Toyota had ended up smack in the middle of a children’s play area. Around 50 children total were on the premises at the time of the hit-and-run.
Now, a manhunt continues for the alleged culprit. Police had tracked the abandoned Dodge Durango to the driveway of a nearby home. After examining, the vehicle and its damage, they deduced that it is, in fact, the Durango in question. However, the home was not reported to be that of Corchado’s, who is still at large. Officials are concerned he may be trying to flee the city, and have been deployed to Orlando International Airport. An attempt was made to call the number listed for Corchado, but a man who answered quickly hung up. Local Mayor Teresa Jacobs is asking all residents to keep a lookout and notify authorities with any pertinent information. She called the crash a “tragedy and disaster.”
This is not Robert Corchado’s first brush with law enforcement. He has served two years of a three-year sentence for drug trafficking, was arrested for drug possession and, not surprisingly, he was recently charged with leaving the scene of another unrelated car accident. In all, Corchado has been arrested 8 times within the span of 14 years and he has currently been out on bail. The hit-and-run, possibly caused by Corchado, has tragically killed a four-year-old child at day care center, and may be one of the worst occurrences ever to be faced by the families of Winter Park, Florida.
By Josh Taub