Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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April 11, 2014

Driver in deadly Fla. day care crash in custody

WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) — A manhunt across Florida ended Thursday with the surrender of a driver blamed in a deadly crash at a day care that injured 14 and killed a 4-year-old girl who was sitting in a classroom awaiting her afternoon snack.

Robert Alex Corchado turned himself in and 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. He was being held on $100,000 bond, said the Orange County Corrections Department. His attorney confirmed his client turned himself in but refused further comment.

"He had nowhere to go," said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Wanda Diaz.

Police say Corchado, 28, of Winter Park, crashed his Dodge Durango into a convertible, which in turn smashed into the KinderCare building. Authorities pleaded for the suspect to give up, even as they blanketed the state searching for him. Nicole Quintus, whose daughter, Lily, was killed, joined the 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 loved princesses, "Star Wars," the TV series "Doctor Who" and ranch dressing on seemingly everything she ate — even pizza and hot dogs. Lily was sitting at a table waiting for her afternoon snack when the car crashed into the building, and Nicole Quintus said a teacher called her soon after, 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."

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