Winter Park day care reopens after child killed in crash
Updated On: Jun 09 2014 05:33:14 PM EDT
A Winter Park day care reopened Monday, two months after a car plowed through a wall, killing a child and injuring more than a dozen others.
KinderCare Learning Center at the corner of Goldenrod Road and University Boulevard opened its doors after a Toyota Solara crashed through the front playroom and came to a rest in a back room.
Four-year-old Lily Quintus was killed in the April crash. Two other children were also hit by the car and several other children were hurt by debris.
One-by-one, parents dropped off their kids, returning to a daycare that is now very different.
Beth Lybarger brought her four-year-old daughter Chloe.
“She was in the 4-year-old room when it happened and was very lucky she did not get hurt,” says Lybarger.
She says her daughter is happy to be back with her friends, but is still traumatized.
“She still has nightmares. She still sleeps with us but she's scared to be alone, but getting better everyday.”
Since the crash, KinderCare has added heavy duty improvements.
“I'm glad they put the boulders in front. They should have had it since the beginning, but I'm very glad Its secure now,” says Pradeep Aeluri, who has two daughters he brings to the daycare.
But for all the changes, parents will never forget the little girl who lost her life.
“There was so much tragedy for one single decision to speed and hit another car,” says Lybarger. "There's not much you can say, nothing will bring Lilly back or help those kids that were hurt.”
To protect the facility from any possible future crashes, five planters were placed strategically along the front of the day care. In the middle of each concrete planter are 2 steel pipes, also filled with cement.
"We installed reinforced concrete planters in front of our Goldenrod center and other traffic barriers along the sides of the building to provide peace of mind that this won't happen again," Colleen Moran, of Knowledge Universe, told Local 6 News last week.
Metal and wood barriers line one side of the playground, while tall poles block the other. Heavy concrete balls sit on the sidewalk outside the front entrance.
After the crash, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs directed her staff to look at all day cares within the county to see if they need similar reinforcements.
Robert Corchado, the driver of another vehicle, was charged with pushing the Toyota toward the day care and leaving the scene of the accident. He remains in the Orange County Jail.