Parking dispute sends SUV into busy Garland bakery

A popular Garland bakery and ten of its customers are paying the price for one impatient driver who slammed into the business.

The driver slammed into Panaderia Guatemalteca during the Sunday morning rush when the store was busy with customers. Amazingly, no one was killed. However, ten people were injured.

Seeing the destruction inside the store, it’s hard for employees to believe the injuries weren’t worse. The store owner’s son says the crash happened because of one driver’s rush to get a parking spot.

It was a busy Sunday morning at the popular Guatemalan bakery on South First Street in Garland. Surveillance video captured the normal Sunday rush inside the store with families and their children picking out their items.

Outside, surveillance video captured a slight conflict when two cars seemingly tried to get into the same parking spot right in front of the store.

“It was the chaos of a car barreling into people unexpected,” said Armando Gelista, the owner’s son. “Once he came in, he maybe didn’t step on the brake all the way or got confused.”

The driver of the white SUV over punched the gas, sending the vehicle flying into the busy shop and unsuspecting customers.

“There were shelves. Our middle unit was thrown. There were soda cans. There was glass everywhere,” Gelista said.

As bad as it looks, no one was killed. Video shows a little boy in a green shirt who disappeared between the counter and shelving units. He was pulled out safely by the man he was with.

Workers say another child was also pulled to safety from under a knocked-over shelving.

“It really makes you wonder how nothing more could’ve happened because the impact of such a large vehicle, glass everywhere,” Gelista said. “You’re surprised nothing worse happened.”

The store owner’s son credits the sturdy fridges and outer window bars for taking the brunt of the force of the impact and saving lives.

“I think if none of that would’ve been there, that car could’ve come in and just kept on going all the way to the back,” Gelista said.

Garland police say of the ten people injured, and most were treated on scene. One person had to be taken to the hospital. Police say no charges were filed against the driver who was able to drive his vehicle home.

Despite being closed for a few days, Gelista says they’ve been in business for 25 years and are confident they’ll bounce back.

“I think we’re going to come out of it and I think we’re going to get stronger after this,” he said.

Store owners are waiting to see if insurance will cover the majority of the damage. The store has been closed since the crash, but the owners hope to have it back open by Wednesday.