One child dead, 14 injured in Florida day care crash
This Thursday, April 10, 2014 booking photo provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Office shows Robert Alex Corchado, 28, after he was arrested and placed in the Orange County Jail in Orlando, Fla. Corchado is the suspected hit-and-run driver in a crash at a day care center in Winter Park, Fla., which claimed the life of a 4-year-old girl. (AP Photo/Orange County Sheriff's Office)
This undated photo provided by the Florida Department of Corrections shows Robert Corchado. Authorities are looking for Corchado in connection with an incident Wednesday, April 9, 2014, where a car smashed into an Orlando, Fla.-area day care, killing a girl and injuring 14 others, at least a dozen of them children, authorities said. (AP Photo/Florida Department of Corrections)
An Orange County Sheriff's deputy, left, escorts a mother and her child across a street after a vehicle crashed into a day care center, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Winter Park, Fla. At least 15 people were injured, including children. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
A Florida state trooper, center, escorts a group of parents to a day care center to pick up their children after a vehicle crashed into the center, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Winter Park, Fla. At least 15 people were injured, including children. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Police remove a car from a daycare center, Tuesday, May 24, 2005, in Dallas. The car crashed through the front of the building injuring several children. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)
Parents with their children are escorted away with Orange County deputies after a vehicle crashed into a day care center, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Winter Park, Fla. At least 15 people were injured, including children. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
An unidentified person picks up debris after a car crashed into a daycare center in south Dallas, Tuesday, May 24, 2005, injuring at least eight children, including two who one witness said appeared to be trapped under the car. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)
People gather at the scene of a daycare center where several children were hurt when a car crashed through the front of the building Tuesday, May 24, 2004, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)
KinderCare has been evacuated. Children are outside with emergency personnel. http://t.co/Jdk6Et8Gjf #Local6 http://t.co/bRQIbGYK2q
Parents gather outside of the child-care center that a car crashed into today. 12 were injured http://t.co/CUwgC8KCPv http://t.co/4H8aKq2scK
MORE: 8-10 patients transported, most children after car crashes into Orange County KinderCare http://t.co/Jdk6Et8Gjf http://t.co/DwIIipwSGx
Car crashes into Orange County KinderCare; At least 8 hurt. WATCH LIVE SCENE: http://t.co/Jdk6Et8Gjf http://t.co/8X5ZdQOtpq
MORE: Injuries reported after car crashes into Orange County KinderCare http://t.co/Jdk6Et8Gjf #Local6 http://t.co/wNnljlMejp
Vehicle crashes into Florida day care center, injuring 12 people, including children http://t.co/sNqC6e27WC http://t.co/SSJdj13ygj
One dead. Multiple injuries as a car ploughs into a Florida daycare. #breaking http://t.co/S4Xkm31sqW
Vehicle crashes into Florida daycare, killing at least 1 https://t.co/wHVymHzarK http://t.co/wLsfz7cuyt
Vehicle crashes into Orlando-area daycare center http://t.co/C0heusUZTd http://t.co/1JOG6NwJgy
Officials now say 11 people injured when vehicle crashed into day care. Watch live: http://t.co/3C80ETRtHf http://t.co/tLNbcGWemM
Emergency scene at daycare. http://t.co/FdVWra9TyX
Heavy delays on University Blvd. and other area roadways near child-care center crash. http://t.co/o9cOIuZzND http://t.co/gpm2ucEh4t
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WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) - A car smashed into an Orlando-area day care Wednesday, killing a girl and injuring 14 others, at least a dozen of them children, and authorities were searching for the driver of an SUV who they say started the crash, officials said.
A Toyota Solara convertible went out of control after it was struck by a Dodge Durango, jumped a curb and smashed into the day care, breaking through the wall and into the building, said Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Wanda Diaz. The convertible driver was not hurt.
The Durango left the scene but was located almost two hours later after it had been abandoned at a home. The highway patrol said it is looking for 26-year-old Robert Corchado, who has been arrested eight times since 2000, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records. Troopers said he was the driver of the Durango, but wouldn't say how they established that. Troopers said Corchado may be trying to leave the area, and troopers and deputies headed to Orlando International Airport to look for him.
Diaz said a girl died at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, but she didn't have any more information on her. 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 and two others were treated at the scene, 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.
A man answered the phone for a number listed to Corchado and hung up when he was asked, "May I speak to Robert Corchado."
"Please keep a lookout and let us know if you see anything," said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said.
Corchado's most recent arrest was on a misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving damage, a felony charge of selling narcotics and felony marijuana possession last December. He was out on more than $10,000 bond and had pleaded not guilty to the charges. His defense attorney in that case, Jack Kaleita, didn't return a phone call or email after business hours.
Department of Corrections records show he has served prison time for trafficking cocaine and extortion.
Jacobs called the crash an "absolute tragedy and disaster."
Local television footage showed small children and infants in cribs taken outside on the day care's playground and several of the injured were carried out on stretchers.
The highway patrol reported that the injured were taken to five different hospitals.
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.
The day care's website says the center provides childcare and learning opportunities for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old and has been in the community for over 25 years.