Late at night, thirteen semi-truck drivers in Oak Park Michigan received a distressing call from the police. There was a man standing at the edge of a local bridge, preparing to jump onto the freeway.
The truckers quickly jumped into action and responded by lining their trucks up under the bridge so that if he jumped, his landing would be a relatively safe one.
A happy end
Fortunately, he didn’t jump. The police successfully talked him into walking away from the edge on his own after four hours of negotiating. The man is receiving help that he needs, and a community of truckers had come out to support and protect this stranger when he was most in need.
The community has shown their gratitude for the efforts of the truckers and police officers that night:
Sergeant Jason Brockdorff of the Huntington Woods police department told local news that using the lining of the trucks was something that the truck drivers and police had actually trained for in advance in case of a situation like the one they had just experienced.
An incredibly fast response
Still, the Sergeant was surprised by just how quickly the truckers leaped into action and responded to the distress call. They had gotten to the scene as fast as they could.
The situation ended the best way it possibly could have with the unidentified man coming down from the bridge safely. The negotiations between the police and the man went smoothly, in part because the police knew that the amount of danger the man had been in was reduced by the quick truckers and their 13 semi-trucks.
The speedy response of the truckers and the efforts of the police are a reminder that no matter what you may be struggling with, you are never really alone in the world. There are people who do care about you and your safety, and they will help even if you are a stranger. There is always help available from family, friends, medical services, help lines, people in similar situations, therapy, or even kind-hearted truckers.
Help is available
If you are concerned that someone you know might be planning to commit suicide, it is important to show them that you care and help them get the services that they need to make it through to better days.
The local police station posted the following on their Twitter account after the situation had been cleared and the man was safe:
“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. PLEASE REMEMBER HELP IS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE AT 1-800-273-8255.”
You can also call a loved one, member of the clergy or 911. There are so many people that can help you make the choice to get help and live! It is our hope to never see another photo like this again.”
We hope that this creative cooperation between truckers and police spreads and becomes a more utilized method of preventing suicide. Sometimes there is need for a safety net that is 13 trucks long to help us remember that people do care.