After Michigan police received a distressing phone call, a slew of unexpected heroes turned up on the scene to offer their support. The incident happened in April 2018, after Detroit authorities were made aware of a man threatening to jump onto a freeway.
13 truckers parked side-by-side and formed a ‘safety net’ to save a man who was attempting to commit suicide.
The frightening scenario happened just after 1 a.m. on April 24, 2018, after Michigan police were alerted to a man who was threatening to kill himself by jumping from an overpass above Interstate 696. As several law enforcement officers and negotiators rushed to the scene, local police decided to come up with a plan.
In a race to save the unnamed man, authorities phoned and flagged down semi-trucks that were in the area, who upon arriving, parked their trucks side-by-side to form a “safety net” in case the man decided to jump, attempting to save his life.
“That’s a practice we use if we have a jumper,” Sgt. Jason Brockdorff of the Huntington Woods Police Department told The Detroit News, adding that this is actually something both the local police and truck drivers have trained for.
Once the truckers were in place, authorities were able to safely talk the man down from the overpass.
“We try to do it every time, to lessen the distance someone would travel if they were to jump. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.”
According to CBS News, Michigan police blocked off the westbound lanes as the truckers fell into line across the eastbound lanes of the highway. In total, a row of 13 truck drivers remained in formation underneath the overpass for the next four hours as police worked to get the man to safety.
Once the trucks were in place, authorities felt more at ease to speak with him, and eventually, both they and the negotiators were able to take the man down and he eventually walked off the bridge on his own. A shot of the trucks parked was shared by Michigan Police on their Twitter page.
“This photo does show the work troopers and local officers do to serve the public. But also in that photo is a man struggling with the decision to take his own life,” they wrote.
The poignant photo of the 13 truck drivers serves as a reminder that even in moments of utmost vulnerability, people are willing to listen, extend a hand, and offer the support needed to find a way back to solid ground. It’s also a testament to the remarkable ability of people coming together to create both a physical and metaphorical “safety net” not just of physical protection, but of compassion and support for one another.
Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.
This article originally appeared on YourTango