Armored Truck Spills Cash in New Jersey, and Somehow, $6,000 Is Returned
Thursday’s forecast called for snow in New Jersey, but on one section of highway, something else was swirling through the air: cold, hard cash.
Around 8:30 a.m., a Brink’s armored truck was driving on Route 3 in East Rutherford, near the Meadowlands, when one of its doors malfunctioned and money blew out onto the roadway.
“There were $100 bills, 20s, 50s,” said Betsy Richards, 56, who was on a New Jersey Transit bus on her way to work in New York. “It was in all different denominations, but there was a lot of it and it was scattered all about.”
Brinks Truck accident on Rte 3 near Lincoln Tunnel. Bills scattered all over Hwy. Brinks guy and other drivers stop traffic and scramble for bills. #CantMakeThisUp pic.twitter.com/8cI0pX6qLR
Drivers quickly hopped out of their cars. Some, of course, grabbed money and took off, never to be seen again.
But others handed the cash to a Brink’s employee, who tried to collect as much as he could in a white bag. Some drivers gathered bills and turned them in to the police.
All told, about $6,000 was returned, said Capt. Phillip Taormina, a spokesman for the East Rutherford Police Department. He added that the police were not sure how much money fell out of the truck or how much was still unaccounted for.
“Witnesses report several people exited vehicles, removed cash from the roadway and left the scene,” he said, adding that the police were looking at social media, videos and photos to try to identify cars that could be tracked down.
The chaos caused two accidents, but no one was injured, Captain Taormina said.
Ed Cunningham, a vice president for Brink’s, confirmed the incident on Route 3 but declined to discuss it further, saying the company was investigating.
Armored trucks have created tests of human temptation before. In May, a Brink’s armored truck spilled an estimated $600,000 onto an interstate highway in Indianapolis. People jumped over fences and ran to get their hands on the money. A school bus driver snatched cash and drove off, the police said.
On Thursday, Jon Halapio was in his car on Route 3, slowly driving past people as they picked money up off the ground. “It was chaos,” he said.
Ms. Richards’s bus was a few miles from the Lincoln Tunnel when it came to a halt and passengers looked out the windows in shock, she said.
“You think the worst, that someone has been injured,” Ms. Richards said. “And then I saw a Brink’s truck and the driver, and saw that he was running through traffic trying to get money off the highway.”
Soon Ms. Richards saw the other drivers getting out of their cars to pick up the money.
“The driver of the Brink’s truck looked like he was laughing and crying at the same time,” she said. “He wasn’t mad and yelling at people. He just looked like he thought it was so absurd.”
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