It is a picture that was quite hard to shake for most.
The scene captured a row of 13 trucks lined up under an overpass on Interstate 696 in Detroit, Michigan, blocking traffic in both directions.
Remember This Image? This Is the Story Of How 13 Semi Trucks Restored America’s Faith in Humanity
The man was atop the overpass and police believed he was about to jump, according to the authorities. When officers arrived on the scene, they calmly talked to him as others took to the highway, flagging down truck drivers.
Michael Shaw, the state police Lt, said the trucks created a kind of “safety net” under the overpass “to make sure if [the man] moved anywhere in that overpass, there was a semi there.”
“There’s 13 truck drivers that didn’t even know this guy and were willing to slide underneath that overpass to help him,” Shaw said.
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. pic.twitter.com/RBAlCIXT1o— MSP Metro Detroit (@mspmetrodet) April 24, 2018
Shaw informed ABC News today that Tuesday’s effort was the not first time for police.
“We’ve never, ever had a truck driver turn us down,” he said.
He said the man had informed the officers how he was having issues with his family. And after about four hours, Shaw said police were able to get the man off the ledge safely.
Later, the department tweeted out the photograph with information about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
“We always want to make sure that people realize there are so many other options,” Shaw said.
Troopers have stated how they have used the tactic before, though without media coverage.
“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,” The MSP Metro Detroit shared just underneath the post.
A Facebook post of just the photo at an Illinois-based truckers’ site garnered 29,000 likes and is shared 30,000 times in just 11 hours.
“That was a very clever idea,” one user said of Grand Haven tells the agency. “Thanks to the MSP and those truckers who helped save a life.”
Followed by another user’s comment: “Thankful to our Michigan State Police and the truck drivers who created an environment that discouraged a suicidal man. Great work.”
“Thank you for your posting. It is nice to see how police and community (the truck drivers) come together to remind someone of their value. This compassion is wonderful to see,” another posted.
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