ST. LOUIS – An Illinois businessman outraged by a court order that he return more than $500,000 in insurance money related to a 2001 wreck that killed his teenage son wanted to pay the money back in pennies in protest, only to recognize that was unfeasible.
So, Roger Herrin settled on quarters – four tons of them.
Packed in 150 transparent sacks each weighing about 50 pounds, the $150,000 in coins were nearly one-third of the money an appellate court required Herrin to pay back to resolve years-long legal feuding among the crash’s survivors over how $800,000 in insurance proceeds were apportioned.
Obtained from the Federal Reserve in St. Louis, the backbreaking load of change was brought in Wednesday by an armored vehicle and delivered on a flatbed truck to two law firms that represented other victims of the wreck.
“There was no satisfaction from doing that,” Herrin, who also serves on the Southern Illinois University system’s governing board, said Thursday. “The loss of a child is the loss of a child, and all the money doesn’t replace that.
“I just wanted to draw attention to what went on here,” the 76-year-old man added.
It ended the legal wrangling that’s happened since Herrin’s 15-year-old son, Michael, was killed in June 2001. He was a passenger in a Jeep Cherokee that was broadsided by a truck that blew through a stop sign near Raleigh in southern Illinois’ Saline County. Three other occupants of the Jeep were injured.