Early Tuesday morning, police in Detroit received a call that there was a man threatening to kill himself by jumping off an overpass above Interstate 696. As several local law enforcement agencies rushed to the scene with negotiators, police came up with an unexpected plan to safeguard against the worst-case scenario.
Just after 1 a.m., Michigan State Police began flagging down passing semi trucks and organizing them into a row beneath the bridge, in order to shorten the distance that the man would fall if he were to jump.
First, the truckers fell into line across the eastbound lanes of the highway. Then Michigan State Police closed the westbound lanes, as well, as more semi trucks arrived. In the end, a row of 13 big-rig truck drivers remained in place under the overpass for several hours until the situation was safely defused and the man was escorted by police to a nearby hospital.
It was an understated act of heroism that took place while most of America was sleeping, but luckily the moment was captured on camera. And now, thanks to a tweet by the Michigan State Police, the pictures have been clocking miles across the country.
MSP Metro Detroit's tweet praises the quick thinking of local officials in coming up with the out-of-the-box plan, stating, "This photo does show the work troopers and local officers do to serve the public."
It also attempts to focus people's attention on the less rosy issue at play.
"Also in that photo is a man struggling with the decision to take his own life," the post reads. "Please remember help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255."
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