Home Vehicle Accidents Police: Driver in deadly Arcadia daycare facing additional charge

Police: Driver in deadly Arcadia daycare facing additional charge

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The family of the 4-year-old killed in the crash has also filed a lawsuit against Imagination Station Learning Center, according to WINK News.

ARCADIA, Fla. — The teen accused of the fatal crash that killed a 4-year-old girl at an Arcadia daycare, and injured another child, is facing a new charge of grand theft auto following an update from the Arcadia Police Department.

One day after the crash on March 16 at Imagination Station Learning Center on East Magnolia Street, a man reported that 18-year-old Kiara Morant had driven his car without his permission, according to WINK News. Morant was a family friend who had been living with him for over a week and took the keys to his Jeep while he was at work, the man told police.

Back in March, Morant was charged with driving without a valid driver’s license, but troopers told 10 Tampa Bay that could change as the homicide unit began investigating. Later the 4-year-old was pronounced dead and another 5-year-old was sent to the hospital in serious condition.

Following the crash, Morant told Florida Highway Patrol she was given permission to drive the Jeep although she did not have a driver’s license, WINK says. FHP said the driver crashed through a chain-link fence, metal post and wooden support post at the corner of the daycare. 

RELATED: Driver in fatal daycare crash held without bond, awaiting transfer to DeSoto County

The 4-year-old’s family also blames the daycare for Maleena’s death, WINK reports. The family filed a lawsuit against Imagination Station daycare citing the owners should have been aware of the location and lack of barriers along State Road 70 where the daycare is located, according to the suit. 

Since the deadly crash, a guardrail has been installed. Maleena’s family wants a jury to rule the daycare is responsible for the crash and make further decisions on damages. 

Morant’s bond for a charge of grand theft auto is set at $1,500. Her Initial bond for two counts of driving without a license causing death or serious injury with a vehicle was set at $200,000, according to DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office. She remains in jail.

RELATED: Driver arrested; 1 child dead, another injured after SUV hits them on playground

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