Burst money bag causes highway free-for-all in Oklahoma City

A bank bag that burst open on Interstate 40 near Meridian Avenue in Oklahoma City caused people to ditch their cars and scramble for the loose cash.
BY MATT DINGER mdinger@opubco.com Published: October 25, 2011

Shawn Altebaumer thought a wreck Monday had people slamming on brakes, getting out of cars and scattering across an interstate highway in Oklahoma City.

But the Emergency Medical Services Authority paramedic quickly realized what was causing the commotion — an open bank bag spewing money. People were ditching their vehicles and scampering to collect the spilled bundles and loose bills, some of which had gone airborne.

“Somebody just lost a lot of money in the road. There were just bundles of money that people were grabbing,” Altebaumer said.

About 2:45 p.m., vehicles were stopped in both directions of Interstate 40 at Meridian Avenue, and people were running up the embankment trying to grab the bills, Altebaumer said.

“Man, it was nuts. It was a free for all,” he said. “There was literally money flying. People would pick it up, tuck it and just run.”

Altebaumer said that's when they turned on the ambulance lights, parked next to the barrier and called the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

He saw the bank bag a little farther along the barrier, grabbed it and was waiting for troopers to arrive when the ambulance was dispatched to an emergency call.

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