On April 9, 2014, a car crashed into a daycare center in Orange County, resulting in the tragic death of 4-year-old Lily Quintus and the injury of several other children.
In the days following the devastating incident, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs called for a countywide assessment of similar motor vehicle crashes, in order to determine the level of public safety threat to Orange County’s most vulnerable populations — children and senior citizens.
A multi-disciplinary team completed the assessment and made recommendations for the development of an ordinance to ensure that all new childcare facilities are equipped with crash barriers to prevent vehicles from crashing into these buildings. As a result, existing non-franchised childcare centers established before May 2016, have access to a financial incentive to come into compliance with the ordinance voluntarily.
“The Quintus family will forever grieve the loss of a life full of promise and potential, taken away by a careless and reckless driver,” Mayor Jacobs said. “I strongly encourage childcare centers to take advantage of this grant to help protect our community and future generations from car crashes at childcare centers. Installing these barriers can save the lives of our children.”
It is estimated that there are up to 60 vehicle-into-building crashes daily in the United States. In unincorporated Orange County, 72 vehicle-into-building crashes occurred over a 24-month period. Injuries and deaths at childcare centers may be prevented if the centers are designed or retro-fitted with vehicle-impact safety barriers to prevent crashes.
For more information, visit www.ocfl.net/grants.