Michigan State Police (MSP) say yesterday’s viral incident of parking trucks under an overpass to prevent a suicidal man from jumping is nothing new — troopers say that the technique has been in use for years and that truckers are always willing to help.
On April 24 around 1 a.m., thirteen truck drivers parked underneath an overpass in Detroit in order to shorten the fall should an emotionally disturbed man on the bridge decide to jump. The man eventually made it off the overpass without injury and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.
While many people remarked that they’ve never seen trucks used in this way, MSP’s Lt. Mike Shaw told Fox2 that troopers have been using the technique for many years: “We have been doing this for as long as I have been in the department, which is 1995. We have kept it quiet for that long but social media and cell phones kind of changes that.”
Shaw went on to explain how the technique works: “We know that usually if someone jumps from that height it’s usually not going to be a good outcome. We will actually steal semi trucks out of the crowd and as we get the cars off the freeway we will direct the semis to another trooper that’s standing underneath the bridge and we will start to line them up right across.”
Shaw says that he never has a shortage of truck drivers who volunteer to help prevent a suicide. “They want to help out too. Nobody wants to see somebody take their own life and if it takes parking your truck underneath an overpass for a couple of hours to make sure somebody’s safe, they’re more than willing to do something like that,” he said.
You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 or texting 741-741.