These Truck Drivers All Parked Under A Bridge To Break A Man’s Fall
A man stood on a freeway overpass near Detroit early Tuesday morning, threatening to jump. Thirteen big rigs all lined up underneath the bridge, in order to discourage him from doing so or in the worst case scenario, to break his fall.
Troopers closed off both directions of Interstate 696 and asked for the truckers’ help, trying to protect this man in case he fell or jumped, said Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police.
According to Shaw, asking truckers to help in these cases really isn’t unusual, but “most of the time these events are resolved pretty fast, so we only get one semi” he explained.
But this time around, it took about three hours to get the man down from the bridge, which is why they had to get back up.
911 calls are what alerted police to the man around 1 a.m. on Tuesday, on the overpass in Huntington Woods, just outside of Detroit, Michigan. “Once we figured out that this is a situation where someone might be contemplating taking their whole life … we shut traffic down (and) we diverted it off onto the side streets,” Shaw continued.
Troopers then looked for trucks getting off the highway, and asked them to instead park beneath the overpass–The 13 trucks packed in tightly to minimize the gaps between them, and fill the entire space under the bridge. This way, if the man still chose to jump, it would have been five or six feet onto the roof of a truck, rather than 14 feet to the concrete below.
Police ended up talking the man down, Shaw explained.
“Usually when we talk to people that are involved in these type of incidents, usually there’s a trigger. We try to find out what that trigger is and rectify it. We were able to do that with him today, we were able to convince him that this was not the right thing to do, and we were able to get him to a local hospital where he is getting the help that he needs.”
A picture of the scene, showing the 13 trucks parked in both directions beneath the bridge, gained a lot of attention all across social media. But Shaw emphasizes, “In that picture somewhere is somebody that was contemplating ending their own life. We want that to be the story — not what Michigan State Police did or what the truckers did, but that the person changed their own mind.”
Anyone struggling with such decisions can seek help from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, their loved ones, or 911.