Marysville, Washington

When a woman stopped her car and ran to help victims of a car accident in Washington state, a thief broke into her own car and stole $900 from her purse.

Last Saturday, Peggy Ray crawled through a broken window of a partially submerged car on Interstate 5, near the Seattle suburb of Everett, and helped stabilize a bleeding driver and his passenger until an emergency crew arrived to rescue the people trapped.

As another Good Samaritan helped calm down the male driver, Ray spoke to the woman in the passenger seat, she told ABCnews.com.

"I told her to stay calm and I asked her to tell me about her family and what she was doing prior to the accident," Ray said. "They were in bad shape."

But Ray told KOMO-TV that when she returned to her vehicle, $900 had been taken from her purse. It represented two weeks' work for the barista, who supports six teenage kids.

"I don't normally have that much cash," Ray told ABCnews.com, "but I was going to pay the rent."

Ray says someone else who pulled over at the accident scene likely took the money from her purse.

Washington state troopers are investigating and hope a tip might lead to an arrest.