Charges upgraded against driver in Arcadia crash that killed 4-year-old

Kiara Rishelle Morant
Kiara Rishelle Morant(DeSoto County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 2:07 PM EDT
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LEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Charges have been upgraded against the driver who crashed into an Arcadia daycare’s playground and struck and killed a 4-year-old girl, and a 5-year-old-girl.

The crash occurred in Arcadia on Wednesday when a vehicle crashed through the fence of a preschool and into the playground where Maleeena Valdez, 4, was playing. A Jeep Cherokee was traveling east on East Magnolia Street, approaching SE Mills Avenue at about 4:30 p.m. when the driver, identified as Kiara Morant, apparently lost control, investigators said.

Following the crash, Morant, 18, was taken to DeSoto Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. She was arrested and charged with driving without a valid driver’s license and booked into the DeSoto County Jail. She was released on a $120 bond, but the charges have since been upgraded.

Fort Myers Police also had a warrant for Morant and she turned herself in. Morant has a home address in Lehigh Acres and she turned herself into FMPD and was booked into the jail this morning around 8 a.m. She is now facing two counts of driving with no driver’s license involving serious injury / death which is a felony.

The crash remains under investigation. The daycare is closed until further notice.

She is being held in the Lee County Detention Center with no bond.

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