It was around 1 a.m. that a group of semi-truck drivers in the Oak Park area of Michigan did something amazing. Each of the drivers received a distress call from area police concerning an identified man who was standing on the edge of a local bridge. It appeared that the man was ready to jump onto the freeway below.
The drivers worked together and came up with a way to potentially save the man’s life. They raced to the scene and lined up their trucks under the bridge so that if the man jumped he would land relatively safely on the top of their trucks.
The real beauty and power of this story are that the impressive coordination in their line-up was not a coincidence. The drivers were prepared for this exact kind of situation.
Sgt. Jason Brockdorff of the Huntington Woods Police Department spoke to the Detroit News telling them that the response was something that local police and truck drivers had had some training for. What was a surprise for the police, and the truck drivers, was the number of drivers who responded to the call.
“That’s a practice we use if we have a jumper,” Brockdorff said. “We try to do it every time, to lessen the distance someone would travel if they were to jump. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.”
The incident lasted almost four hours into the early morning. But once the truckers were in place, the police were able to efficiently negotiate with the unidentified man.
Before it was over, the man walked off the bride on his own and was able to receive medical help.
The local police used the amazing story to call attention to the need for people to seek mental health services. The powerful message of this story should remind each of us that there are everyday, ordinary people who will come to the aid of others who need help. That should give us all hope.