3 On Your Side

Alert: Getting your Christmas tree home safely

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

AAA recently published a report with some surprising numbers. The motor club says 500 people were killed over the last four years due to hitting road debris and Christmas trees are considered road debris.

"This is the one I think we're getting girls."

For Daniel Yanez and many Valley families, it's a very special time of year.

"We're just looking for some Christmas trees."

And, picking out the right Christmas tree can be a memorable family tradition.

"Does it smell good? I only want a tree that smells good."

"Does that look a little bit fuller too? That one was nice."

As 3 On Your Side found out, selecting the perfect Christmas tree is easy. Getting it home without problems though can be tricky.

Take a quick peek through the internet and you'll see all kinds of Christmas tree disasters.

For example, there was this motorcyclist who escaped serious injury after barely missing a Christmas tree that had fallen off another vehicle.

And then, there are people like this. The tree is so big, it completely blocks the windshield and windows prompting police to pull the driver over.

So how do you get your tree home without problems. For that, we talked to Garrett Mosley who works at Talmachoff Farms in Glendale.

"The trunk goes on the front part of the car and we'll wrap the twine around that, and then we'll tie that part down, we'll tie one part down in the middle and then we'll tie the very end down."

If you have a pickup truck, transporting your tree is a lot easier. But you should still tie it down.

Why? Just ask AAA’s Michelle Donati.

"Within the last three years, 20 million who have bought and taken home Christmas trees, and not have them properly secured to their vehicle. That means those trees could become debris, they could fall off, pose a hazard for other drivers."

Donati is referring to an eye-opening report by the motor club that highlights the dangers of road debris including Christmas trees that have fallen off vehicles or have blown out of a pickup.

"Over the past four years road debris has caused over 200,000 crashes resulting in nearly 39,000 injuries and over 500 deaths."

Just remember, you can be cited if your tree finds itself in the middle of the road. But even worse Donati says, an improperly secured tree could cause a fatality.

"The bottom line is whether you're taking a tree home or you're taking a tree elsewhere after the holidays, make sure that it's secured to your vehicle to prevent that tree from becoming a road hazard for others." 

Even if you get your tree home you still might have caused damage to your car by not securing it properly. Scratched paint and torn door seals can be avoided if you take your time and do things right.

Click on AAA for additional information about the report.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


  • Recent 3 On Your Side storiesMore>>

  • Homeowners claim Phoenix pool company abandoned job

    Homeowners claim Phoenix pool company abandoned job

    Friday, July 20 2018 1:07 PM EDT2018-07-20 17:07:58 GMT
    (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
    (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    A Scottsdale couple already had a nice pool, but it needed some updating so, they hired a company which promised to have the project done by May. But here we are in mid-July and it's nowhere near done.

    More >

    A Scottsdale couple already had a nice pool, but it needed some updating so, they hired a company which promised to have the project done by May. But here we are in mid-July and it's nowhere near done.

    More >
  • Arizona getaways on a shoestring budget

    Arizona getaways on a shoestring budget

    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:56 PM EDT2018-07-19 17:56:46 GMT
    We may live in Arizona, but many of us don't take advantage of all Arizona has to offer. (Source: 3TV)We may live in Arizona, but many of us don't take advantage of all Arizona has to offer. (Source: 3TV)
    We may live in Arizona, but many of us don't take advantage of all Arizona has to offer. (Source: 3TV)We may live in Arizona, but many of us don't take advantage of all Arizona has to offer. (Source: 3TV)

    If you’ve been putting off your summer vacation because you think you just can’t afford it, think again.

    More >

    If you’ve been putting off your summer vacation because you think you just can’t afford it, think again.

    More >
  • 3 On Your Side

    Gift card trick scammers are using to rip off consumers

    Gift card trick scammers are using to rip off consumers

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 1:24 PM EDT2018-07-18 17:24:13 GMT
    Berk was the victim of a gift card scam. (Source: 3TV)Berk was the victim of a gift card scam. (Source: 3TV)
    Berk was the victim of a gift card scam. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Berk was the victim of a gift card scam. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    Always buy a gift card from a secure location and avoid buying gift cards off the rack.

    More >

    Always buy a gift card from a secure location and avoid buying gift cards off the rack.

    More >
  • Featured VideoMore>>

  • Duck boat tragedy: 17 dead, including 9 from one family

    Duck boat tragedy: 17 dead, including 9 from one family

    Friday, July 20 2018 5:10 PM EDT2018-07-20 21:10:57 GMT
    A family places flowers on vehicles of the victims of the Ride The Ducks accident on July 20, 2018 in Branson, Missouri. (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)A family places flowers on vehicles of the victims of the Ride The Ducks accident on July 20, 2018 in Branson, Missouri. (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

    Seventeen people were killed and several were injured after a duck boat capsized and sank on Table Rock Lake in Stone County, Missouri, near Branson, Thursday night.

    More >

    Seventeen people were killed and several were injured after a duck boat capsized and sank on Table Rock Lake in Stone County, Missouri, near Branson, Thursday night.

    More >
  • 17 killed, including 9 members from one family, in Missouri duck boat sinking

    17 killed, including 9 members from one family, in Missouri duck boat sinking

    Friday, July 20 2018 4:47 PM EDT2018-07-20 20:47:27 GMT
    Several people are dead after a tourist boat overturned and sank in a lake near Branson, Missouri, during a thunderstorm. (Courtesy of Tony Burkhart via CNN)Several people are dead after a tourist boat overturned and sank in a lake near Branson, Missouri, during a thunderstorm. (Courtesy of Tony Burkhart via CNN)

    Seventeen people, including children, died Friday after a duck boat carrying tourists capsized and sank in a lake during a thunderstorm in Branson, Missouri.

    More >

    Seventeen people, including children, died Friday after a duck boat carrying tourists capsized and sank in a lake during a thunderstorm in Branson, Missouri.

    More >
  • Pharmacist refuses to fill transgender woman's hormone therapy prescription

    Pharmacist refuses to fill transgender woman's hormone therapy prescription

    Friday, July 20 2018 4:39 PM EDT2018-07-20 20:39:55 GMT
    Hilde Hall says a pharmacist refused to fill her prescription for hormone therapy to begin her transition to a woman. (Source: ACLU of Arizona)Hilde Hall says a pharmacist refused to fill her prescription for hormone therapy to begin her transition to a woman. (Source: ACLU of Arizona)
    Hilde Hall says a pharmacist refused to fill her prescription for hormone therapy to begin her transition to a woman. (Source: ACLU of Arizona)Hilde Hall says a pharmacist refused to fill her prescription for hormone therapy to begin her transition to a woman. (Source: ACLU of Arizona)

    A transgender woman who was just starting hormone therapy hit a roadblock when a local pharmacist refused to fill her prescription. 

    More >

    A transgender woman who was just starting hormone therapy hit a roadblock when a local pharmacist refused to fill her prescription. 

    More >

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

Click to learn more about Gary.

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.

Hide bio

Contact 3 On Your Side