Several truck drivers in Michigan helped state police deter a man threatening to jump off an overpass above a highway.
Early Tuesday morning, multiple truck drivers lined their semitractor-trailers below an overpass on Interstate 696 in the Detroit metro area. A man was threatening to jump, and police closed off the highway and used the line of trucks to shorten the fall, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The strategic response, which seems unconventional, has been in use for some time, according to local Fox station WJBK. Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw told the station that the law enforcement group had been using the tactic since he started in the department 23 years ago.
“We have kept it quiet for that long, but social media and cellphones kind of changes that,” he added.
Sure enough, photos of the line of trucks went viral on Tuesday as news spread and drivers who participated in the response posted about the night on Facebook.
Chris Harrison, who posted the photo above, said in a comment that he and some other 18-wheelers happened to be first in line when the police closed off the highway to respond to a 911 call that a man was spotted on the edge of an overpass.
Michigan State Police also shared the photo from Tuesday’s rescue on Twitter in an effort to call attention to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
“This photo does show the work troopers and local officers do to serve the public,” the department wrote. “But also in that photo is a man struggling with the decision to take his own life.”
NPR reported that, after two hours of negotiations with officials, the man agreed to leave the edge of the overpass and seek help.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.