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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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dekyblugras April 11 2014 at 10:11 AM

Life in jail is too good for this POS

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1 reply
shindogdiggity88 dekyblugras April 11 2014 at 10:45 AM

Jail is for holding criminals until their verdict is settled in court and their case is closed.

Prison is for criminals to serve the sentence they've been issued in court.

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freebird12315 April 10 2014 at 10:38 PM

THE SYSTEM IS MESSED UP. PEOPLE GET MORE JAIL TIME FOR NONSENSE AND VIOLENT CRIMALS SEEM TO GET AWAY WITH EVERYTHING, NOW AN INNOCENT CHILD IS GONE.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
Diane April 10 2014 at 10:36 PM

Arrested 8 times? Why was he out at all? Time to go after the judges who slap these guys on the wrist and let them go.!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
Art69z April 10 2014 at 10:35 PM

I call this guy a POS yesterday. He is still a POS, but at least he was man enough to turn himself in.

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reedonald April 10 2014 at 10:35 PM

We will see just how "severe" the court system treats this creep. My granddaughter was hit by a drunk driver hit and run last fall and while she is recovering, she may never get quite back to where she was before, physically or emotionally. The guy, a 21 year old, had two prior DUI's, was eventually caught, of course he had no license and no insurance. And the DA allowed him to plea bargain down to a lesser charge (with a court appointed attorney of course), with no jail time. The court system is geared more toward the offender than those the offender harms, its willing to give these idiots not only 2nd or 3rd chances, but 4th, 5th and 6th chances, even in the fact of overwhelming evidence that they will not change.

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ru4dlord April 10 2014 at 10:34 PM

Lets lock him and the judge or judges that let this idiot back on the streets up for life!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Wilson April 10 2014 at 10:32 PM

It hurts so much that this happened to those wonderful children. My prayers go out to all the families.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
sylvabugg2 April 10 2014 at 10:32 PM

He won't get the death penalty. He's not guilty of vehicular manslaughter. That would imply intent. He's only guilty of leaving the scene of an accident. That's it. I hope what he did haunts him. That'll be the worst punishment he could ever receive.

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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.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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