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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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dal April 11 2014 at 5:16 AM

That one more kid who will never get to go to school, never get to fall in love, never get to be a fool.
RIP Lily . May her family and friends find solace in the time and love they got to share here on Earth.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
Randy April 10 2014 at 11:42 PM

I pray for relief and comfort for the families involved with this travesty. May God hold them in the palm of his hand. Regardless of the outcome, this is a complete lose-lose situation. The 4-year old is surrounded by peace and love. Such a terrible tragedy! Cheers, everyone!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
rayandkrisneu April 10 2014 at 11:42 PM

Why was bail so low? He has a long record he shouldn't have any bail.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
swanderman April 10 2014 at 11:39 PM

What ever happened to the 'Three Strikes you're Out' law? This guy should've gotten a life sentence long ago.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
RIZZO April 10 2014 at 11:30 PM

Prayers are with the needy at this time

Flag Reply +9 rate up
npaleorelic April 10 2014 at 11:21 PM

So it goes that a court known low life career criminal, gang banger and both drug abuser and dealer is on the streets and not in jail. Our justice system is a revolving door of repeat offenders entering and leaving repeatedly thanks to the criminal code which offers outrageous rights and protection for those with no regard for the law nor society. Can't blame him....he's just rollin' the way the law has allowed him to do since day one. Blame the legal system for enabling him.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
2 replies
Sheryl npaleorelic April 10 2014 at 11:41 PM

well, maybe you'll go work there...
that could help!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Jaime npaleorelic April 10 2014 at 11:45 PM

Wow, Sir, I'm not from Florida but I see your anguish as to how things (courts) are being handled. Outside of your state, at least from a "tie'em up criminal" aspect, that things go well and the courts are strict enough
to put away anyone who does such a pitiful thing as this jerd did. Is your court system that soft? Do the
perps get away with murder or the like? If so, I think I'll stay in my little corupt state of Louisiana!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jimpiotrowski April 10 2014 at 11:07 PM

He should be eliminated. And truth is, why was he even on the streets? He was affiliated with gang ties. He dealt in drugs, he was a lower of at all levels.
The heck with jail....take him out and just shoot him like a rabid animal. And toss him into a hole and cover it. No marker as his life was a waste!
What a scum bag of society.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
motorhcity April 10 2014 at 11:04 PM

YA tell me too how our system works these days I was just thinking about Justin Bieber and what went on in Miami look at all he did ( underage drinking /driving while impaired? drugs weather legal or not or both and DRAG RACING too ) and the little fine it got !!! and he did not appear in person at a hearing it was done by Video or something and he most likely buy his way out !!!! its like there are more rights for a criminal then us who follow the rules and laws of life when it comes to breaking the law and multi times and they go free to go on like in this case until someone is badly injured or dies

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
Ghetto Cat motorhcity April 10 2014 at 11:10 PM

There are the unpopular types of cops that think teens drug addicfs get put away forever and old rich wankers steal millions and molest their own kids and are never even bothered.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
runningh2os Ghetto Cat April 10 2014 at 11:30 PM


Flag +1 rate up
rvheaney April 10 2014 at 11:00 PM

Just hang the SOB !

Flag Reply +7 rate up
stal30 April 10 2014 at 11:00 PM

We should start putting parents on trial. I hate to be judgmental, but I would like to know the story behind what his parents were doing when they were supposed to be parenting him.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
jimpiotrowski stal30 April 10 2014 at 11:16 PM

They were probably gang members and dealing drugs also.... teaching their son to know nothing more than to be a thug and a loser!!!
Throw that scumbag into a dumpster and bury his sorry a.s.s. In the dump. That's where the trash belongs!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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