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HAMMONDVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- A truck carrying tons of quarters caught fire Tuesday and spilled most of them on a highway, where workers used heavy equipment, shovels and buckets to scoop up the singed coins.

The driver said the truck carried 39,000 pounds of new Kansas quarters, part of the U.S. Mint's state coin series, that were worth some $800,000, said Police Chief Michael Putnam.

The rear of the armored truck bound for Birmingham from the Philadelphia mint caught fire in the pre-dawn hours on Interstate 59 in northeast Alabama, Putnam said.

"It's kind of a surprise when you pull up on a fire call at 2:30 in the morning on the interstate and there are armed guards around the fire," he said.

Jim Starr Jr., a truck rider armed with a handgun for protection, said a grease fire ignited a rear tire, sparking a larger fire that destroyed the trailer. Putnam said the coins were on metal pallets in bags that burned, spilling the quarters on the road.

Police called in a front-end loader to scoop up the coins and deposit them in buckets. The road was partly closed for 12 hours, Putnam said.

Another truck from Colorado-based American Armored Transport Inc. was headed to the wreck site to collect the quarters.

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9,794 Posts
snadamo said:
the driver's story is a little :wbs: , but hey, I wasnt there. I wonder if he got fired?
That guy probably did get fired! I have a friend that drives big rigs for a living...he was with Penske for a while quite a few years ago...he ran over a big sewer drain sticking up out of the ground trying to turn around in a tight spot and he couldn't see it. Well he punctured the gas tank, and fuel drained everywhere, what made it even worse...the 2nd tank drains over to the first tank! :yikes: So enviromental clean up was called, fire dept, cops, DOT marshalls...ahh it was a real mess! Well he got fired in the end.

· Moderator , Lifetime Gold Supporting Member, '07 R
20,176 Posts
bumblebee said:
I think they weigh change instead of counting it...I know casinos do...
My bank does too.
I have a friend that owns a car wash. He banks at my bank. I hate helping him collect the profits. Those damn bags are heavy. All he does is buy lunch if I'm lucky.
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