3 On Your Side

Woman says Tempe car wash smashed windshield, damaged her car

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Marie Gamalski said a car wash caused all kinds of damage to her car. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Marie Gamalski said a car wash caused all kinds of damage to her car. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Gamalski says the car wash arm scraped up the hood of her car, leaving behind scratches and dents before finally smashing in her windshield. (Source: 3TV) Gamalski says the car wash arm scraped up the hood of her car, leaving behind scratches and dents before finally smashing in her windshield. (Source: 3TV)
Gamalski says she asked employees at the gas station for their insurance information and for the name of the person who owned the car wash but claims the only thing they gave her was a hard time and phone number that did no good. (Source: 3TV) Gamalski says she asked employees at the gas station for their insurance information and for the name of the person who owned the car wash but claims the only thing they gave her was a hard time and phone number that did no good. (Source: 3TV)
The gas station claims it has video of the incident proving this was Gamalski's fault, not theirs. (Source: 3TV) The gas station claims it has video of the incident proving this was Gamalski's fault, not theirs. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A Valley woman thought a simple car wash would help knock off some dust. But instead, that car wash caused all kinds of damage to her car and she's the one being blamed.

“It's like, it's crushing my car,” Marie Gamalski said. 

The sight and sound of Gamalski's car being destroyed are something she says she'll never forget.

“I thought this is strange and then the cracking sound and finally I’m like, 'Get outta the car!'” Gamalski said. 

Gamalski says all this damage happened after taking her car through the Mobile Kwik Corner car wash in Tempe. She says once she drove into the car wash tunnel, she knew immediately that something was wrong. 

“And I thought, 'What is that?' I could feel this pushing when it hit the hood and I thought, 'Well, that's weird.' Then it got up to here and I heard the cracking. I was in the car and I couldn't believe what I was seeing for a minute, and I was like, 'Get out of the car.'” Gamalski said. 

Gamalski says the car wash arm scraped up the hood of her car, leaving behind scratches and dents before finally smashing in her windshield. 

“I was like, it's really going to smash this so I got out right before it did that (showing windshield) where it pushed it right in,” Gamalski said. 

Gamalski says the attendants had to shut off the car wash and then called someone to get her car out.

“They had taken the whole arm off so I could get my car back,” Gamalski said. 

Gamalski says she asked employees at the gas station for their insurance information and for the name of the person who owned the car wash but claims the only thing they gave her was a hard time and phone number that did no good.

“Nothing, nothing, they haven't returned any of my calls,” Gamalski said. 

So, 3 On Your Side got involved and the general manager for the Mobil Kwik Corner initially agreed to talk to us about the incident on camera.

But, when 3 On Your Side arrived, he didn’t and said he couldn’t talk on camera. And, when it came to taking video of the car wash, he had an employee ask us to leave.

We left the property, and later received an email and a written statement from the GM saying Gamalski's damaged car is her problem because she didn't follow instructions, including putting her car in park and turning off the engine. 

The gas station claims it has video of the incident proving this was Gamalski's fault, not theirs. The video they claim shows Gamalski driving back and forth when she should not have been driving at all. So, where is the video? The gas station wouldn't provide it to us.

But, Gamalski doesn't agree. In the meantime, she's stuck with a severely damaged car and a gas station that she says is shifting the blame.

“You need to respond to this kind of stuff, that's (pointing to cracked windshield) not acceptable,” Gamalski said. 

The gas station tells 3 On Your Side that they have now turned the matter over to their insurance company and says if their insurance wants to take care of it, they will. If not, then this viewer is on her own.

I'll let you know what happens in a follow-up report.

[PDF: Statement from Mobile Kwik Corner car wash in Tempe]


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LiAna EnriquezLiAna Enriquez is a native of Arizona. She attended Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona.

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LiAna Enriquez

She then went on to Arizona State University. She graduated summa cum laude from the University’s prestigious, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.

LiAna started her news career with KTVK-TV as an intern. She loved it so much she never left! She has been with the station for fourteen years. Currently, she is the consumer investigative producer for Arizona’s top rated consumer segment, 3 On Your Side and is also a general assignment reporter. LiAna also reported for the station’s top rated high school sports show, ‘The Varsity Zone’ for five years.

In her free time LiAna enjoys cooking, watching movies, quading, and traveling. But her absolute favorite thing to do, is to hang out with her husband and beautiful daughters. She is a softball mom. She loves the beach and waterfalls! Her favorite team is the Arizona Cardinals and of course, the Sun Devils.

Life motto: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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