WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) — A car smashed into an Orlando-area day care Wednesday, injuring 15 people, at least 11 of them children, and authorities were looking for the SUV that started the chain-reaction crash, officials said.
Several of the injured 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, Orange County Fire Rescue said in a tweet.
Diaz said a silver or grayish Dodge Durango crashed into a vehicle that then struck the KinderCare building in Winter Park. The Durango left the scene.
The vehicle is believed to have damage to the front bumper. 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 six weeks to 12 years old and has been in the community for over 25 years.