Viewers help repay woman robbed while helping crash victims

MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- Peggy Ray had one thought when she pulled over on Interstate 5 in Everett after witnessing a crash: rush in to help.

It was a similar feeling KOMO viewers had when they heard what happened to Ray when she returned to her car to find $900 had been stolen: rush in to help.

Ray left her own car doors unlocked in that adrenaline-fueled moment as she saw the crash up ahead, pulled over and raced toward the victims who were trapped in their partially submerged vehicle.

"He had blood just coming down his face. He cracked his head pretty hard," she said.

Ray crawled in the wrecked car through a broken window - and kept the man and his passenger stabilized until firefighters got there to take over. But when she returned to her car, she got a cruel shock. Somebody had stolen $900 from her purse on the front seat while she was helping the crash victims.

"It hurts right here, but I'm not going to be angry about it," she said. "I'm not going to hold a grudge."

The cash in that envelope was a small fortune on the salary of a barista who has six teenage kids to support. But she refused to let Saturday's disheartening experience dampen her passion to help others.

"I was thinking it was going to catch fire. I was thinking we have to get those people out," she said. "I would do it again tomorrow, in a year. I would do it again."

Ray's brave actions, and her financial loss, evoked a strong reaction from our viewers.

The first viewer who called the Problem Solvers after our story aired wanted to give Ray the $900 cash.

But it didn't stop there. We found many others who wanted to help too. We were able to give her another check for nearly $3,800.

"Wow, that is amazing," Ray said. "People are amazing."

Ray and her husband say they'll pay their rent, buy groceries and a few Christmas presents for the family, and pass along some of the donations to others in need.

"I told you that's why you don't stop helping people. You don't stop helping. You don't stop giving," Ray said. "You just do what you can, 100 percent of the time... and look what happens."