12 kids hurt in Orlando-area day care center crash

MIKE SCHNEIDER SUZETTE LABOY Associated Press Published:

WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) -- A car smashed into an Orlando-area day care Wednesday, injuring 15 people, at least 12 of them children, and officers have found the SUV that started the chain-reaction crash then left the scene, officials said.

Several of the injured at the KinderCare building in Winter Park were reported to be in "very, very serious condition," said highway patrol spokeswoman Wanda Diaz. The injured include 13 people taken to hospitals and two treated at the scene, according to Orange County Fire Rescue.

Diaz said the car had gone out of control after it was struck by a Dodge Durango, jumped a curb and smashed into the day care, breaking through the wall and into the building. That driver was not hurt.

The Durango fled the scene, but was located almost two hours later after it had been left at a home. Highway patrol said it is looking for 26-year-old Robert Corchado. Troopers said he was the driver of the Durango, but wouldn't say how they established that. Troopers said Corchado may be trying to leave the area.

Anyone with information is urged to call the patrol at 407-737-2300 or 911.

"Please keep a lookout and let us know if you see anything," said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said.

Jacobs called the crash an "absolute tragedy and disaster."

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

The highway patrol reported that the injured were taken to five different hospitals.

A woman who answered the phone at KinderCare said she didn't have time to talk.

Late Wednesday afternoon 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 center provides childcare and learning opportunities for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old and has been in the community for over 25 years.