ORLANDO — A man who authorities say drove an SUV that crashed into another vehicle, sending it spinning into a Winter Park day care where a girl was killed and 14 people were injured, was ordered Friday to stay in jail until a judge can determine whether he is a flight risk.
Robert Corchado, 28, will be held in jail until at least Monday when a judge will hear arguments on whether he can be released on bail, Circuit Judge Jerry Brewer said during a first appearance hearing.
Bail was initially set for $100,000, but a prosecutor told the judge that Corchado was a flight risk and that he should be held without bond.
“I have a witness here, a trooper, who can testify that he is a flight risk,” prosecutor Austin Price said. “He has it on good authority that this defendant, is planning, once he posts bond, to leave the country.”
Corchado’s public defender, Jon de Armas, asked that the $100,000 bond remain in place.
The judge said that if Corchado is released, he will be prohibited from driving a car as a condition.
Police said Corchado crashed his Dodge Durango into a convertible, which in turn smashed into the KinderCare building on Wednesday. Corchado fled the scene, authorities said.
A manhunt across Florida ended Thursday with Corchado’s arrest. 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 4-year-old Lily Quintus, who was sitting in a classroom awaiting her afternoon snack. Fourteen others were injured, most of them children.
Family members say Lily Quintus loved princesses, ranch dressing – on everything – and “Star Wars.”
“Families are emotionally destroyed because of what he did,” Nicole Quintus, Lily’s mother, 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.”
Eight patients, including Lily, were initially taken to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando. One remained in critical condition Friday, and three were listed in fair condition, according to a statement. Three had been discharged. The remaining victims were taken to other hospitals. There were no updates on their conditions Friday.
Matt Sedensky contributed from West Palm Beach, Fla. Patrick Peterson contributed from Winter Park, Fla.