- Several bystanders stopped on a freeway to grab cash after an Oregon man threw it from his car.
- The man told police he hurled around $200,000 to “bless others,” a report says.
- A relative told police the cash came from their shared bank accounts, leaving them broke.
A man threw piles of cash out of his car window onto Oregon’s I-5 freeway on Tuesday night, with several lucky bystanders stopping their vehicles to grab the money.
But the family of Colin Davis McCarthy, 38, told Oregon State Police that he drained their shared bank accounts to fund the stunt, leaving them broke.
Police responded to a report of money being thrown out of a vehicle around 7 p.m. on Tuesday on the freeway near Eugene, Oregon.
Police identified McCarthy as the man throwing the money. He later told troopers that he distributed about $200,000 in total, per ABC News affiliate KEZI 9.
Oregon State Police told Insider in an email that the exact figure is not known and that there “wasn’t really a way to confirm how much money was gifted” to strangers.
News footage showed that at least some of the cash was in $100 bills, suggesting a large total.
McCarthy said he threw the cash out of his car because he wanted to “bless others with gifts of money,” according to the CBS affiliate KUTV, which cited police.
Dozens of bystanders stopped to grab the cash, which was almost completely gone by 8 p.m. Oregon State Police Lt. Andrews said people did a “pretty good job of cleaning it all up,” KEZI 9 reported.
One witness told Insider they drove by after McCarthy had tossed the money and noticed heavy traffic and cars pulled to the side of the freeway. She said it was “very dangerous seeing so many people” walking along the interstate.
“The northbound lane was bumper-to-bumper traffic stretching for miles due to people pulling off and re-entering the freeway from the shoulder and searching the ground,” Tori Kathleen Gramz said.
Dozens of people were out of their cars, running along and across the freeway looking for any money. “Some people were running from shoulder to shoulder of the interstate waiting for cars to pass,” Gramz added.
Police said they warned McCarthy to stop throwing the money because it was dangerous for people to be running on the I-5 in the dark. They said he took the advice.
McCarthy ultimately wasn’t charged with a crime or cited, but Andrews said officers considered it because of the danger it caused on the road, per KEZI 9.
But while several bystanders benefited from the stunt on Tuesday, his family said they’ve been left penniless.
A relative of McCarthy told police that he had gained the money by draining his family’s shared bank accounts, but police said it is unlikely they will get it back, KEZI 9 reported.
“Because it’s shared, they both have equal interests in the money,” Andrews said, per the local media outlet, meaning that anybody with access to the account is able to take all the money and use it as they see fit.
The family said that although it’s unlikely to happen, they want people who found the cash to return it to Oregon State Police, per KEZI 9.