SUV crashes through front of Tampa daycare

Posted at 5:41 PM, Jan 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 17:41:51-05

It was a close call for a Hillsborough County daycare. An SUV smashed through the front of the building exactly one minute after it opened its doors.

It turns out, it's not the first time a crash has happened on the property. Even though the daycare is located in the county, the owners are asking the City of Tampa to help fix the issue.

Kiddy Country is located at the intersection of Memorial Highway and Independence Parkway near Town and Country. Memorial Highway is considered to be in the county while Independence Parkway is part of the City of Tampa. The divide has caused some safety concerns to be ignored, according to the co-owner of the daycare, Richard Solgot.

"First thoughts were, 'Was anybody injured; any kids inside?' No children were inside," said Solgot as he looked at the damage to his daycare. "Doors opened at 6:30, and it happened at 6:31."

Nobody was hurt in the crash. An employee managed to run out of the way of the oncoming car.

But Solgot still has major concerns. He says this is the fourth or fifth time a car has crashed into the property. One car took out a fence, others smashed into the front deck.

"This is the first time we've had a vehicle go into the building," he said.

According to Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office records, there have been 41 crashes at the intersection since July of 2010. Solgot says the county added guardrails around his property along Memorial Highway to prevent crashes into the building. Solgot says the problem now is cars speeding down Independence Parkway, which is maintained by the city. This is a problem he has approached city officials with before.

"The city wouldn't put any rumble strips or warning lights or anything because the accidents aren't happening on the city side," he said. "The county has always been very receptive to my concerns."

Solgot says the city did lower the speed limit, but he hopes more is done before another crash becomes a tragedy.

"I'm not the expert on what to put there, that's up to them," he said. "But they do need some other type of warning system other than just lowering the speed."

The county public works department is looking at the circumstances of the crash to determine if anything different needs to be done on its part.

Requests into the City of Tampa went unanswered.