Donations are rolling in for a Seattle-area woman paid a steep price for stopping to help at the scene of a car accident along Interstate 5 in Everett, Wash.

As Peggy Ray crawled through a car window to support crash victims stuck in a partially submerged vehicle, a thief stole $900 from her purse, left on the seat of her own car.

The victims survived the accident, thanks to her help. But Ray, a barista and mother to two teenagers, said the cash amounted to two weeks of wages that she needed to pay her rent.

"Instant crying and instant tears," said Ray, a Marysville, Wash. resident, recounting the discovery for KOMO-TV. "That's almost two weeks worth of work."

State troopers are investigating. She suspects that one of the two-dozen motorists who stopped at the accident scene is the culprit.

KOMO-TV has set up a "Problem Solvers" page where those concerned about Ray can send a secure donation, and she's received nearly $5,000 in donations already.

"We were wondering where are we going to be able to borrow the money to pay our rent," Peggy Ray told Komo News. "We weren't looking for any of this. There is a lot of good that has come out of all this."