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Years ago, Michigan State Police adopted a traffic strategy to prevent a particular kind of distressed pedestrian from suffering certain injury or even death. The tactic requires help from passing semi-truck drivers who are also familiar with this prevention plan. In 2018, it worked.

Just before 1 a.m. on April 24, 2018, a call came in to dispatch that a man was on an overpass above Interstate 696. The man was threatening to jump off the bridge. Police acted immediately, closing the highway’s eastbound lanes by signaling to semi-trucks to line up with each other.

Minutes later, the westbound lanes were also lined with semis. A total of 13 trucks parked side-by-side. You can see photos of the event embedded below.

A white semi truck driving under an overpass bridge in close left front angle view
Semi-truck under a bridge | vitpho via istock

The line of trucks serves multiple purposes in these distressed pedestrian situations. First, it stops fast-moving vehicles from passing through the pedestrian zone. This would prevent added injury. Second, the trailers provide a raised landing platform to shorten the fall’s distance.

Hours into supporting the distressed pedestrian, he walked off the bridge and got help, Fox 2 Detroit reported.

If you or someone you know is suffering, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255. You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting to 741-741.