Grand opening of San Antonio panadería put on hold after owners injured in rear-end crash

Owners of Alebrije say injuries from the crash prevents them from operating East Side bakery

Hours away from their grand opening, the owners of Alebrije has to put those plans on hold after they were the victims of a crash.

SAN ANTONIO – Hours away from their grand opening, the owners of Alebrije has to put those plans on hold after they were the victims of a crash.

Authorities responded to a two-vehicle crash after 1:30 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of North Pine Street and the frontage road of Interstate 35.

For now, the shelves are empty and the sweet smell of pan dulce no longer fills the first brick and mortar of Alebrije Bakery located in Government Hill on the city’s East Side.

“We put every piece of our hearts in this place,” said Claudio Navarro, who along with his his wife, Christian Méndez, own the bakery that’s become popular through social media.

The couple said they can’t physically meet the demand of kneading and baking dough that on Saturday had customers lining up for more during their soft opening.

“We did amazing,” Navarro said. “In less than 45 minutes we had sold out.”

But as the pair was headed to work to prepare for the grand opening, Navarro noticed a vehicle behind him while he was at a stop sign.

“I (remember I saw) lights coming, like, really like fast (in my rearview mirror),” Navarro said. “Then, just for a minute, I thought, this guy’s coming really, really, really fast. Two or three seconds afterwards, we got hit really, really bad.”

Navarro and his wife were read-ended by a red sedan. The impact was so severe, the driver of the red vehicle was left trapped inside.

“I don’t remember the car spinning,” Navarro said. “I realized afterwards that my car was (facing) the other car, but that was not the original position.”

Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to remove the driver from the red vehicle to be taken to Brooke Army Medical Center. Police have yet to release details or the cause of the accident.

“I’ve been calling them,” Navarro said. “I’ve been contacting them, you know, and I (have not) been receiving nothing.”

The victims did not require immediate medical attention, but said their level of pain is affecting their livelihood.

“My wife’s (injuries are) more severe,” Navarro said. “She’s having a lot of pain in the back and on the neck, and she’s right now wearing (a neck brace) and can’t really move.”

Now, the future of their bakery is at stake.

“Right now it’s very difficult for us to (get back up), you know,” Navarro said. “Until my wife is feeling better, we won’t have a date (for the grand opening). I mean, I can’t really give you an estimate. The doctors were saying that it could be a week or two weeks.”

The couple is thankful for the community’s support, donations and patience as they begin to heal. Updates for Alebrije’s grand opening will be posted on its Instagram page found here.

About the Authors:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.