The woman, Patricia Wesner, was traveling along a bumpy stretch of Route 22 near Salem, New York when an armored truck passed her.
NBC News reports that Wesner thought to herself, “Wouldn’t it be great if money started pouring out?”
To her shock, that’s exactly what happened. WNYT notes that she recalled:
“He hit a bump and a spray of change came out in front of my car and I looked and went “Oh My God, that’s money!’ He hit another bump and bills just flew out all over the place.”
And rather than do what several people in her position would probably do, Wesner pulled over to the side of the road, grabbed the money, then called police.
Police arrived on the scene and also caught up with the truck, where they let the crew know it was losing money along the road. Investigators believe the truck’s door malfunctioned.
In all, they counted 70 bags of $1 bills, six boxes of quarters, two boxes of dimes, two boxes of nickels, and 12 boxes of pennies. While investigators were gathering the money back, Wesner was allowed to leave. She drove off to get lunch, which she didn’t have enough cash to pay for.
She also stated that, during the entire incident, she didn’t even think about saving any money for herself — or for the nonprofit organization she has headed for almost 22 years. Depite the fact that the Pember Library and Museum has had to scrimp, Patricia Wesner wouldn’t even consider taking a few bills to help it out. She explained:
“It’s stealing if you take something that’s not yours and I never even thought, you know I picked up a lot of bills that were on the ground and never even thought that I would put anything in my pocket. It didn’t belong to me.”
There is no word on whether Patricia will get a reward for returning the money lost off the back of an armored truck.