Sunday 21 December 2014

Police hunt day care crash driver

Published 10/04/2014 | 00:42

Parents and relatives leave the day care centre with their children after the crash (AP)
Parents and relatives leave the day care centre with their children after the crash (AP)

A girl has been killed and 14 others, at least a dozen of them children, injured, after a car smashed into a Florida day care centre following a chain-reaction crash.

Authorities have launched a hunt for the driver of the SUV that started the crash at Winter Park, near Orlando, then fled the scene.

The girl died at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, o ne victim is in a critical condition and five others in a serious condition.

A total of13 people were taken to hospital and two others were treated at the crash scene. Several of the injured at the KinderCare building were reported to be in "very, very serious condition".

A Toyota Solara convertible lost control after it was struck by a Dodge Durango, hit a kerb and smashed into the centre, breaking through the wall and into the building.

The Durango driver left the scene but the vehicle was found nearly two hours later after it had been abandoned at a home.

Police are looking for Robert Corchado, 26, who has been arrested eight times since 2000, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records. State troopers said he was the driver of the Durango.

Corchado may be trying to leave the area, police said, and officers headed to Orlando International Airport to look for him.

"Please keep a lookout and let us know if you see anything," said Orange County mayor Teresa Jacobs, who called the crash an "absolute tragedy and disaster".

Local television footage showed small children and infants taken outside on the day care's playground and several of the injured were carried out on stretchers.

Later 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 centre provides childcare and learning opportunities for children aged six weeks to 12 and has been in the community for more than 25 years.

Press Association

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