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Semis Line Up on Detroit Highway to Form Safety Net Around Suicidal Man


Law enforcement and truckers teamed up to save the save the life of a suicidal man early Tuesday morning. 

At about 1:00 a.m, the Michigan State Police received a call that a man was hanging off the side of a bridge on Interstate 696 in Detroit. 

The man, who has not been identified, was threatening to end his life by jumping onto the Detroit freeway. 

Officers quickly sprang into action and organized a unique way to help. 

Lt. Mike Shaw, Michigan State Police spokesman, told WJBK-FOX, officers closed the eastbound and westbound lanes and called truckers. 

Thirteen formed a safety net under the man. 

"We see all the trucks lined up... and people look at it ... but what you don't see on that picture is a guy who's deciding if he's going to take his own life or not," Shaw explained. 

"The cops came up and waved six or seven of us through and then stopped us under the bridge.....Same thing on the westbound side...I just happened to be one of the guys in the front of the line," said trucker Chris Harrison who stopped on the freeway to help. 

"What we wanna do is we want to limit the height process so as we are routing traffic off..we will actually steal semi trucks out of the crowd," Shaw explained.

The truckers sat there for about two hours as negotiators talked to the man. 

"That's really big because sometimes if you don't make your dock time you have to wait to get loaded or unloaded again. So, them truckers went out of their way believe me," trucker Ray Chapman said.

One trucker involved posted this photo to "Twisted Truckers" Facebook page.

The photo has gone viral.

"The photo makes us so proud and shows quick thinking," said Sean McNally, American Trucking Association spokesman. "It also shows how our industry works with law enforcement to keep our highways safe and the quality of people we have driving."

The moment of the heroic sacrifice paid off. Thankfully the man did not jump and the situation ended as he walked off the bridge.  

Michigan State Police said they have teamed up with truckers in the past when faced with similar situations. 

The officers issued this statement on Twitter:

"This photo does show the work troopers and local officers do to serve the public," they wrote. "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."

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