Marysville, WA –Peggy Ray was driving on Interstate 5 when she stopped to aid victims of a car crash. While the local woman was keeping an injured victim stabilized, an unknown thief helped themselves to the goods left in Ray’s unlocked car.
The Marysville barista left her car doors unlocked in the adrenaline-filled moment of rushing to aid victims of a car accident. Ray saw the crash, pulled over, and raced to assist. One of the victims, trapped in a partially submerged vehicle, was bleeding badly.
“He had blood just coming down his face, he cracked his head pretty hard,” she says.
Ray crawled into the car through a broken window. She remained in the vehicle until firefighters arrived on the scene, keeping the victim stabilized. After the ordeal, Ray returned to her car — only to find $900 had been stolen from the front seat of her car.
“The envelope was out like this,” she recalls, motioning with her hands. “I just looked down, and I thought to myself, ‘There is no way, no way … no.’ “
Somebody had stolen $900 from her purse while she was helping save the lives of those in the crash.
“The fact that somebody stole the money we needed for rent – it’s just devastating,” says Ray, who has six teenagers to support on her barista’s salary.
Ray reports that she responded to the theft with “instant crying, instant tears.” She added, “What do you do? It’s $900, you know – almost two weeks worth of work.”
Customers and fellow baristas at the coffee shop where she works are outraged at the heartbreaking way in which Ray was rewarded for her heroism. “To get to the scene, you know, and help these people – and then someone has the audacity to do this,” says customer Paul Johnson.
Ray, who is saving money for nursing school, says what happened won’t change her heart toward people. Running without hesitation to help someone in need is what defines Peggy Ray, and she maintains that “there’s more people out there who need help who are good people.”
Ray is confident that one of the two dozen people who also pulled over at the accident sight are responsible for the theft. State troopers are investigating in hopes of finding the culprit.