by: Greg Suskin Updated:
CLOVER, S.C. - Sherry Whitesides and her 12-year-old son were on their way to a baseball game when something flew through the air in front of their car.
"It just blew off the top of the car," she said.
They saw what looked like papers fly up from a bag that landed in the middle of Bethel Street in Clover, and they pulled over. The truck that dropped the bag kept on going.
"I saw it hit the road, and then it looked like stuff just scattered," Whitesides said.
Even when they stopped and walked into the street, they didn't realize at first they were looking at stacks of $100 bills, more than $11,000 in cash.
"It didn't look real, because the newer bills are pink, purple, and all these colors," she said. Then it hit her: They had found a great deal of money. "Honestly, the whole time I was thinking, when's that man going to come back for this money?"
They also found a Wells Fargo receipt for $30,000, so that's how much money they both thought was in the bag. They took the money to the Wells Fargo branch, which was within a stone's throw of where they picked up the cash, but it was closed.
So they dropped the money at the Clover Police Department, and within hours it was given back to the owner, who conveniently had left his driver's license in the money bag as well.
Whitesides is a fourth-grade teacher at Cotton Belt Elementary School in York. This week, she had quite a life lesson for her 9- and 10-year-old students.
"Some of them said, 'Man why didn't you keep that money?' So I tried to instill in them that it wasn't the right thing to do to keep that money, and if was yours, you'd want somebody to give it back."
Whitesides said she was never tempted to keep it, and was glad to be an example for her son.
"We love the Lord, and we want our boys to grow up loving the Lord and to do the right thing," she said.
Channel 9 planned to contact the 60-year-old man who lost the money, but he was not available Thursday.
Wells Fargo bank did confirm to Clover police that there was some activity in the man's account around that time Monday, but they would not discuss any specific transactions.