Several truck drivers in Michigan helped state police deter a man who threatened to jump from an overpass on a highway.
Early on Tuesday, several truckers lined up their semi-trailers under a flyover on Interstate 696 in the Detroit metropolitan area. A man threatened to jump, and police closed the road and used the line of trucks to shorten the fall, 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 Lieutenant Mike Shaw told the station that the law enforcement group had been using the tactic since it started in the department 23 years ago.
"We've kept it quiet for all that time, but social networks and cell phones kind of changed that."
Indeed, the pictures of the truck line turned viral on Tuesday as the news spread and the 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 were the first in line when the police closed the road to answer a 911 call that said a man spotted on the edge of a flyover.
The Michigan State Police also shared the photo of Tuesday's rescue on Twitter in an effort to draw attention to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
"This photo shows the cavalry soldiers and local officials who serve the public," the department wrote. "But also in that picture there is a man who struggles with the decision to take his own life."
This photo shows the work of soldiers and local officials to serve the public. But also in that photo there is a man who struggles with the decision to take his own life. Remember that help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. pic.twitter.com/RBAlCIXT1o
– MSP Metro Detroit (@mspmetrodet) April 24, 2018
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 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also send a START text message to 741-741 for free, Support 24 hours a day from the Crisis Text Line. Outside the US UU., visit the International Association for the Prevention of Suicide to obtain a database of resources.