Man sought in Florida day care crash that left 1 dead, 14 injured was car’s driver

The man with a long history of arrests whom authorities are seeking in a deadly car crash into a Florida day care centre was the driver of the vehicle that fled the scene, the Florida Highway Patrol said early Thursday.

WINTER PARK, Fla. — The man with a long history of arrests whom authorities are seeking in a deadly car crash into a Florida day care centre was the driver of the vehicle that fled the scene, the Florida Highway Patrol said early Thursday.

The agency had previously called 26-year-old Robert Alex Corchado a “person of interest” in the Wednesday afternoon crash. On Thursday, spokeswoman Wanda Diaz said in a statement that Corchado was driving the Dodge Dorango that struck a Toyota Solaro convertible, which jumped a curb and smashed into the KinderCare building. One girl died. Fourteen others, mostly children, were injured. The convertible’s driver wasn’t injured.

Local television footage showed small children and infants in cribs being taken outside to the day care’s playground. Several of the injured were carried out on stretchers.

Late Wednesday afternoon, parents could be seen waiting to pick up their children, and then clutching them in their arms as they were escorted to their vehicles by authorities.

Authorities said Wednesday that they were searching for Corchado, who they believed was heading to Orlando International Airport in an attempt to flee the area.

A man answered the phone for a number listed to Corchado and hung up when he was asked, “May I speak to Robert Corchado?”

Corchado’s most recent arrest, in December, was on a misdemeanour charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving damage, a felony charge of selling narcotics, and felony marijuana possession. He was released on more than $10,000 bond and pleaded not guilty to the charges. His defence attorney in that case, Jack Kaleita, didn’t return a phone call or email after business hours.

Department of Corrections records show Corchado has served prison time for trafficking cocaine and extortion.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs called the crash an “absolute tragedy and disaster.”

Diaz said a girl died at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, but she didn’t have any more details. One person at the hospital was in critical condition and five others were in serious condition, said spokeswoman Katie Dagenais.

In all, 13 people were hospitalized, including the girl who died from her injuries, and two others were treated at the scene, authorities said. Eleven of the injured were children, said John Mulhall, a spokesman for the Orange County Fire Rescue.

Several of the injured at the KinderCare building in Winter Park were reported to be in “very, very serious condition,” Diaz said.

The day care’s website says the centre provides childcare and learning opportunities for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old and has been in the community for more than 25 years.

Gov. Rick Scott released a statement saying, “As a grandfather of three young children, I can’t imagine losing such a precious life at such a young age. Today’s hit-and-run was an act of cowardice, and members of the Florida Highway Patrol are working closely with local law enforcement to bring those who caused this crash to justice.”

Just Posted

Innisfail RCMP investigate possible stolen dogs

Eight dogs seized from hotel room

Watch: Your Westerner Days Parade photos

Red Deerians line downtown streets to enjoy annual Westerner Days kick-off

Red Deerian wants to chat with Trudeau about Greyhound

Greyhound ending bus service in October

Red Deer filmmaking brothers win two Christian visual media awards

Unveil Studios, owned by Andrew, Daniel and Matthew Kooman, wins recognition

Canada could get caught in cross-fire of U.S. uranium investigation

Canada could get caught in the crossfire after the U.S. Department of… Continue reading

Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unveiled his pre-election cabinet, shuffling… Continue reading

Canada’s premiers meet Indigenous groups, although three major groups decline

BOUCTOUCHE, N.B. — Canada’s premiers are meeting with Indigenous organizations in New… Continue reading

An updated list of federal cabinet ministers following Wednesday’s shuffle

OTTAWA — An updated list of federal cabinet ministers following Wednesday’s shuffle,… Continue reading

U.S. launches national security investigation against uranium imports

The U.S. Department of Commerce has launched another national security investigation that… Continue reading

Oilers sign first-round pick Evan Bouchard to entry-level contract

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Evan Bouchard to a… Continue reading

Lab-grown meat could be in restaurants in 3 years

BERLIN — A Dutch company that presented the world’s first lab-grown beef… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month