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Man arrested in deadly Florida day care crash

WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) - Four-year-old Lily Quintus loved princesses, ranch dressing - on everything - and "Star Wars," said her mother, whose pleas and those of others were answered when a driver police say caused the crash that killed the girl at her Florida day care surrendered to authorities.

A manhunt across Florida ended Thursday with the arrest of Robert Alex Corchado, 28. He was charged with leaving the scene of a deadly accident almost precisely 24 hours after the KinderCare facility in Winter Park was torn open in the wreck, killing the girl who was sitting in a classroom awaiting her afternoon snack. Fourteen others were injured, most of them children.

Corchado was being held on $100,000 bond, according to the Orange County Corrections Department. His attorney confirmed that his client turned himself in but declined to comment further. A bond hearing was set for Friday morning, according to a statement from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Police say Corchado, 28, of Winter Park, crashed his Dodge Durango into a convertible, which in turn smashed into the KinderCare building. Authorities had pleaded for the suspect to give up as they blanketed the state searching for him. Nicole Quintus, whose daughter, Lily, was killed, joined those pleas.

"Families are emotionally destroyed because of what he did," she said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The mother softly sobbed as she spoke of her daughter. She said Lily also loved the TV series "Doctor Who" and put ranch dressing on even pizza and hot dogs. Nicole Quintus said a teacher called her soon after the crash, screaming but unable to say what happened.

"One minute everything was normal, and the next there was an explosion and smoke and screams," she said.

The girl's 7-year-old brother is an aspiring engineer who wants to design a time machine to bring Lily back, the mother added.

"She was beautiful and passionate and innocent," the mother said, "and she deserved so much more."

Ten people were still hospitalized from the crash Thursday, including one child who remains in critical condition and two others who are listed in serious condition, according to Florida Highway Patrol.

Lily was on the minds of those who turned up Thursday at the day care, where the gaping hole was boarded up with plywood and a cluster of stuffed animals, flowers and candles were left in memoriam.

Ralph Velez, 48, left a stuffed bear from son Xavier, 5, who goes to the day care but was unhurt in Wednesday's crash. The bear was a gift from a few Christmases ago, and Xavier - who can't stop talking about the crash - wanted to give it to honor his friends, Velez said.

"He'll say, 'stupid car,' or 'stupid driver,'" Velez said. "He told us last night that he remembers the driver, who wasn't hurt, getting out and saying, 'What did I do? What did I do?'"

Corchado has been arrested eight times since 2000.

Department of Corrections records show he served prison time for trafficking cocaine and extortion. He most recently was arrested in December on a misdemeanor 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. He was due back in court in May.

A man who answered the phone at a number listed for Corchado hung up. Florida Highway Patrol Maj. Cindy Williams said Corchado was linked with the Latin Kings gang and could have been aided by other members.

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Pam April 10 2014 at 10:52 PM

Eight arrests, another hit & run, felony drug charges. And yet he was still out in society. This time an innocent child died and many more were injured. No one got out of this untouched. Our judicial system is seriously flawed. We need stiffer sentences, less time off for "good behavior". Instead of building more malls, why don't they build more jails. And make them work to pay for their own incarceration, meals and medical care! My heart goes out to all. Yes, including him and his family.

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2 replies
Bob & the Queen Pam April 10 2014 at 11:03 PM

That is the best comment that I have read!

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dsharkey01 Pam April 10 2014 at 11:13 PM

You had a pretty good post going . . . UNTIL to said your "heart goes out to all. Yes, including him." What the hell -- this is an idiot who has committed crime after crime. If he was dealt with properly, he would NOT have been on the street to kill this innocent little child. I hope he ROTS in Hell.

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mcdanielb43 April 10 2014 at 10:31 PM

WHY in hevens name was this man still out on the streets?? Something has to be done about all these criminals going thru revolving doors of so called justice. Where is the justice of the victims. I can't imagine a happy little 4 year old so excited about getting a snack one minute and being murdered by a criminal the next. PLEASE don't let this guy out for the rest of his life, if he walks AGAIN, there will be more victims. My prayers go out Lily's family and all the children exposed to such a horrible scene.

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1 reply
Thrift Store mcdanielb43 April 10 2014 at 10:38 PM

You can thank democrats for that as they are soft on crime. look at all the dem states they do not have a death penalty they want to give them hugs not punishment

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3 replies
Susan April 10 2014 at 10:29 PM

I suspect the little boy (Xavier Velez) is referring to the driver of the convertible which was hit by the Durango. The convertible did the damage, but its driver is an innocent party to this tragedy.

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Vonnie April 10 2014 at 10:18 PM

With a record such as this, how in the world was he out on the streets to kill this baby??

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1 reply
d1anaw Vonnie April 10 2014 at 10:58 PM

Because he lives in FL. It's always the victim's fault.

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mechtly April 10 2014 at 10:16 PM

Oh my, no. He's just a good boy that other foolish people entrapped by putting drugs and other illegal enticements in front of him. What was he to do? Take a stand and do the RIGHT thing? But that's too hard. It sounds like work. It sounds like responsibility.
It sounds liberal - ahem - due process - hah!- allowing this man to roam the streets.

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4 replies
idoglady1 April 10 2014 at 10:16 PM

$100,000 bail? Not enough!

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myagappi April 11 2014 at 10:05 AM

we need to start thinning the herd. get rid of these scumbags and eventually, there won't be any scumbags left. how many innocent beings have to be hurt or die before we smarten up?

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Hiya Peter April 11 2014 at 10:06 AM

I'm born and bred NYC-- still getting used to Florida-- two comments though-- in NY- we have this "thing" called...3 strikes and you're out. Three felony arrests, and you're gone for life without parole. (looking at this guys' rap sheet, this incident wouldn't even had occurred)

Second, NY instituted the RICO act, directed at organized crime and street gangs. In short, if you commit a crime, and are affiliated with a crime family or gang, they too could, and would be held equally responsible.

So, what the hell gives down here?? Just remember--before you bash government...keep in mind that you're the people who voted them into office.

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1 reply
thomstrains Hiya Peter April 11 2014 at 10:12 AM

I am sick and tired of folks moving to a new location and then telling how good his previous location was. By all means, as I tell the Californians who move to Nevada and compare it unfavorably to their California home, GO BACK TO WHERE EVER IT IS YOU CAME FROM.

Then both you and your Florida neighbors will be happy.

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Carolyn April 10 2014 at 10:12 PM

Why was this a.shole out of jail? What Does it take to keep these people in prison?

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1 reply
karen and pitts Carolyn April 10 2014 at 10:20 PM

we don't jail murderes . oj casey. why would we jail this fellow?

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junior April 10 2014 at 10:11 PM

Don't you just love our justice system? Keep letting them out and now a little girl is dead. I hope the entire criminal justice system is happy now.

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