WINTER PARK – A central Florida community has come together to make get-well cards for the children injured in a crash at a daycare center that killed a 4-year-old girl.
Winter Park community members also built a memorial Friday outside the KinderCare building. The daycare center’s staff reopened with bright balloons to greet children who wanted to reunite with their friends and teachers who had been inside when the crash happened.
The crash Wednesday killed 4-year-old Lily Quintus, who was sitting in a classroom awaiting her afternoon snack. Fourteen others were injured, most of them children.
One child, June Decalzada, remains hospitalized in critical condition.
Members of the Groveland Fire Rescue Department, where Lily’s father works, laid a wreath at the crash site.
“We had to bring something out here to show our support and show that these kids mean something to everybody,” Groveland paramedic Josh Walsh said.
Some of the children who attended Friday’s event wore superhero costumes. “That’s in honor of Lily. She loved to be both a princess and a superhero,” said Colleen Moran, a spokeswoman for KinderCare.
The daycare center is working to set up a fund for all the crash victims. “Earlier today we made a donation of $10,000 to the fund that’s been set up for Lily. We’re also working on a more long term plan for the other families,” Moran said.
KinderCare staff hope to start repairs to the building next week.
Christina Carde, whose son Xavier attends the daycare, said KinderCare is offering counseling and support at the hospital for all the families involved.
“Everybody’s at the hospital, supporting the families and helping us come together and figure out where we’re going to go from there,” Carde said. “They have the whole community behind them. Even though it’s rough, I know it helps to have everyone there.”
She said Xavier hasn’t been able to go back to class and thinks Lily is still alive.
“He thinks Lily’s still in the hospital. We haven’t figured out how to tell him yet,” Carde said.
The man who authorities say drove an SUV that crashed into a convertible, sending the car spinning into the daycare center, is being held in jail until at least Monday when a judge will hear arguments on whether he can be released on bail.
Bail was initially set for $100,000, but a prosecutor told the judge that Robert Corchado was a flight risk and that he should be held without bond. Corchado’s public defender asked that the $100,000 bond remain in place.
Authorities say Corchado fled the scene of Wednesday’s crash. A manhunt across Florida ended Thursday with Corchado’s arrest.