Peggy Ray of Marysville 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 says.
Peggy 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.
"The envelope was out like this," she recounts. "I just looked down, and I thought to myself, 'There is no way, no way ... no.'"
Somebody had stolen $900 from her purse on the front seat while she was helping the crash victims.
"The fact that somebody stole the money we needed for rent - it's just devastating," says Ray.
The cash in that envelope was a small fortune on a barista's salary - with six teenage kids to support.
"Instant crying, instant tears," she says. "What do you do? It's $900, you know - almost two weeks worth of work."
Customers at the coffee shop where she works are outraged.
"To get to the scene, you know, and help these people - and then someone has the audacity to do this," says customer Paul Johnson.
Running without hesitation toward a car accident defines Peggy Ray - she's trying to save money for nursing school. The indignity she suffered Saturday on the freeway hurts - but won't change her heart.
"No, it won't. There's more people out there who need help who are good people," she says.
Ray is sure one of the two dozen people who also pulled over at the accident scene took her money. State troopers are investigating the theft and hope a tip might lead to the culprit.
If you would like to help Peggy Ray with a donation, visit KOMO's Problem Solvers fund here >>