Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cash for Needy Lost in Wind, Restored by Chain Reaction; Woman Thrilled to Get $835 Back after Leaving It on Car's Trunk

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cash for Needy Lost in Wind, Restored by Chain Reaction; Woman Thrilled to Get $835 Back after Leaving It on Car's Trunk

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS - Call it a karma sandwich - $505 pressed with a good Samaritan on either side.

Jane Corbett doesn't normally forget large amounts of money on the trunk of her car, especially when the cash is to buy food for the homeless. So, she wasn't looking Monday when the loot flew off her car and began blowing along westbound Interstate 44 at Murdoch Avenue.

Good thing she was being followed by Ray Leuthauser, a plasterer on his way home to Cedar Hill who never even thought about keeping something that didn't belong to him.

The result was that Corbett, 77, got back every penny she lost, and she and her friends will have plenty of food to serve today at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Soulard.

"He is an angel, that's all I can say - an absolute angel," Corbett said during an interview Thursday at her home in Shrewsbury.

According to Corbett and Leuthauser, the tale of good deeds begetting good deeds unfolded this way:

About 3 p.m. Monday, Corbett loaded items into her car to take to a charity. Then she placed her adopted, special-needs child into a safety seat. A small white envelope containing $835 was in her hand, and then on the trunk. It stayed there as she pulled away.

"I had to pick some people up, drop some items off, and then I was going to take the money to the couple in Ladue that buys the food for our days serving the homeless," Corbett said. "I didn't realize I didn't have the money until I was on Clayton Road."

Leuthauser, a member of Plasterers Local 3 and an employee of Niehaus Construction Services Inc., was on his way home from his current job site at Kenrick Seminary, just blocks from Corbett's home.

"As I was going down the ramp onto 44, I noticed this envelope on the trunk of the car in front of me. And then when the car sped up, the money started flying everywhere," said Leuthauser, 48, a father of two. "I started honking like crazy, but she didn't hear me."

Leuthauser stopped, grabbed the envelope and started picking up the money. "It was blowing all over, even across the median into the eastbound lanes. …

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