Would you stop and grab some money or keep it moving???
You’re cruising along the highway when you see a bunch of green bills fluttering around like flakes in a snow globe. You get closer and you realize it’s cash. Other drivers are pulling over to snatch what they can. What do you do?
Some drivers in Maryland faced that choice Friday when two plastic bags containing about $5,700 in bills and coins fell from an unlatched door on an armored truck and spilled onto Interstate 270 about 35 miles northwest of Washington. One witness said she saw about 30 cars pulled over on the shoulders and people frantically collecting fistfuls of cash. Police say the motorists grabbed almost all of it. Others kept driving. Imagine having your commute turn into a morality play. What’s your first reaction? Do you slam on the brakes, jump onto a busy highway and start scrambling? Do you slow down to get a closer look? Or do you keep driving, guilt-free but without a surprise payday? OK, now what if your kids were in the car?
The answers from several people who spoke to The Associated Press on Friday offer a glimpse into the minds of Americans trying to juggle doing the right thing and getting by in a tough economy where even a few unexpected dollars can be a blessing. It wasn’t hypothetical for attorney Heather Kelly, who was driving to her office in Frederick when she passed through the surreal scene. She didn’t see the armored truck but noticed the two clear plastic bags of currency along the road and people snatching the $1 to $50 bills wafting through the air and skittering along the highway.
“It was in the traffic lanes and on the shoulders and just generally kind of like a snow globe of cash,” she said. “Some people had fists full of money, fists full of dollars, and other people were just still trying to collect.”
Kelly decided it was too risky to stop, though no one was injured. She said she wouldn’t have stopped even if it was a two-lane road with no other traffic. “It was really unclear what was going on and I like to stay away from that type of thing,” she said. The truck belonged to Garda World Security Services Corp., a Montreal-based security and cash logistics company, spokesman Joe Gavaghan said. He said they’re cooperating with state police investigators to find out what happened.
Maryland State Police urged people to return the money to the agency’s barracks in Rockville, with no questions asked and no charges filed. As of Monday afternoon, no one had.
So what would you do?