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Cash windfall may be lucky for drivers - until reality hits

Imagine driving along the highway and suddenly noticing little bits of green sailing through the air. Upon closer inspection, you realize that those bits of green are wads of cash, sailing out of an armored truck and into the air for drivers to grab.

That's exactly what happened this week on Interstate 270 in Maryland. While many drivers considered it their lucky day, the literal cash windfall could have resulted in more than one serious car accident. With so many pedestrians running around frantically, their eyes on the cash in the air and on the road, it's a wonder no one was hit by the cars speeding by.

The money went flying after the unlatched back door of an armored truck allowed two plastic bags filled with cash and coins to fly out of the vehicle. One witness said she saw about 30 cars pulled over on the side of the road, their drivers running around picking up cash as other vehicles continued to fly by.

It's not the first time precious cargo has been dropped on a highway, but it's very rare for so many drivers to get out of their cars at once and start running all over the road. What's not unusual is for drivers to be seriously injured or killed after their vehicles have stalled. When they step out to pop the hood or change a tire, they put themselves at great risk of being hit by another vehicle.

These accidents happen frequently, in Maryland and all over the country. It's the reason highway patrol troopers advise motorists stuck on the highway to stay in their vehicles until help arrives. Even if a passing car hits yours, you'll be protected, unlike if you were hit while standing in the road. In that case, no amount of flying money will make up for it.

Source: The Spokesman-Review, "Crash sends cash fluttering across Md. highway," March 23, 2012

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