Note: we are republishing this story to raise awareness about suicide prevention. Help is available 24/7 through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Detroit police received a call about a man threatening to kill himself by jumping off an overpass on the Interstate 696. Responding to the scene with negotiators, officers devised an unexpected contingency plan.
Just after 1 a.m., Michigan State Police began flagging down semi trucks. The trucks were organized into a row beneath the bridge to reduce the distance the man would fall if he decided to jump.
The truckers lined up across the eastbound lanes of the highway, with police closing the westbound lanes as more semi-trucks arrived. 13 big-rig truck drivers remained parked under the overpass for several hours until the man was safely escorted to a nearby hospital by police.
The heroism took place while most of the country was asleep, but the moment was captured on camera.
The pictures went viral after Michigan State Police tweeted them to thank local officials for devising the unorthodox plan. MSP Metro Detroit's tweet read, "This photo does show the work troopers and local officers do to serve the public."
The post added: "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."
Sources: CBS News