Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Car crashes into Winter Park day care, killing girl and injuring a dozen children

WINTER PARK — Joel Rosado sprinted to the scene as soon as he heard the screeches and saw a black Toyota Solara plow into the Goldenrod Road KinderCare, where a 4-year-old girl lay dying and 14 others were injured.

"We could see the teachers were, like, panicking," Rosado said. One was performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a child, and other children were bleeding — "laid out, not moving."

As the horror unfolded, panicked parents scrambled to the scene and authorities started an immediate manhunt for 28-year-old Robert Corchado, who they say was driving the Dodge Durango that rammed the Toyota toward the building.

The driver of the Durango didn't stop to see the carnage and chaos he left behind Wednesday afternoon.

It all started about 3 p.m.

The Solara, which had been turning into a driveway separating the day care center from Goldenrod Plaza professional offices, barreled through the parking lot, through a bush and into the KinderCare building, according to preliminary Florida Highway Patrol information.

Rosado, who was working on the roof of a nearby gas station, climbed down and ran to the center.

"It was bad," he said. The driver of the Solara, Albert Dean Campbell, 61, of Winter Park, emerged uninjured but visibly emotional, Rosado said.

Rescue crews descended on the day care, and news helicopters captured images of small children being removed from the day care on stretchers.

At last count, Orange County Fire Rescue spokesman John Mulhall said at least 15 people were hurt in the crash, 13 of whom were taken to hospitals. Twelve were children. The injured were rushed to four different hospitals.

Mulhall said they were being treated for a "variety of injuries, both severe and mild."

"This was a very intense scene, a very severe scene," Mulhall said.

Said FHP Trooper Wanda Diaz of the injuries: "Some are very, very serious."

After conflicting reports for most of the day, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children confirmed the first death about 6:45 p.m. The girl's name was not released.

One other patient was in critical condition, and five more were in serious condition, the hospital said. Another patient had been released by Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, the hunt was on for Corchado.

Authorities found the Durango at a house on Orange Avenue in Winter Park — its bumper left behind at the crash scene.

Neighbors who milled about as troopers investigated said the SUV was one of several vehicles routinely parked outside.

One nearby resident who did not want to be identified said the Durango drove up the street with a distinct clanking sound. A man wearing a red shirt and black hat parked it in the driveway and left a short while later, the neighbor said.

Four neighbors said vehicles come and go from the salmon-colored house at all hours, especially Thursday and Friday nights.

Car crashes into Winter Park day care, killing girl and injuring a dozen children 04/09/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 11:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. See you later, alligator! Reptile captured off Miami Beach (w/video)

    Wildlife

    MIAMI BEACH — Police and wildlife officials captured an unwanted visitor on Miami Beach.

    An alligator was spotted swimming in the Atlantic Ocean near the South Pointe Park pier in Miami Beach on July 23, 2017. News outlets quoted viewers who said it took officials about two hours to capture the gator. No one was injured.

  2. Dog dies in hot car while owner cleans Florida condos

    Public Safety

    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Authorities say a 2-year-old Chihuahua died in a hot car while its owner was cleaning condominiums in Florida.

  3. Recipe for Nutty Quinoa Carbonara

    Cooking

    If you've never made carbonara, consider adding it to your weekday dinner lineup. It is a traditional Italian pasta dish in which eggs are mixed with cheese and then swirled into cooked pasta just before serving. The result is a luscious bowl of food you won't believe contains so few ingredients. This recipe swaps …

    Quinoa Carbonara. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.
  4. Jared Kushner says he has 'nothing to hide' on Russia (w/video)

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner is denying that President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russia, saying in a statement ahead of congressional interviews that he has "nothing to hide."

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner listens during the "American Leadership in Emerging Technology" event with President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington on June 22, 2017. [Associated Press]
  5. Forecast: Less stormy weather to start week in Tampa Bay before chances ramp back up

    Weather

    After some stormy mornings throughout the weekend across Tampa Bay, Monday kicks off pretty quietly with a cloudy, yet mainly dry start.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]