Imagine you’re the company dispatcher or fleet manager and you get a phone call from a driver in the middle of the night telling you he’s moved his truck and parked it underneath an overpass at the request of Michigan State Police for an indeterminate amount of time.
We believe several truck drivers may have had that conversation, or perhaps something like it, when they got the request from the Michigan State Police early Tuesday morning in Oak Park, Michigan. On April 24, at about 12:45 a.m., the state police received a call reporting a man standing on the edge of a U.S. Interstate 696 overpass between Oak Park and Huntington Woods. He was threatening suicide.
The state police closed both east and westbound lanes of the interstate near the Coolidge Road exit off I-696 in the northern suburb of Detroit. The police then called on several truck drivers to drive their rigs to the overpass and park them under the overpass not only to shorten the man’s fall should he jump, but also to show others cared.
Drivers of a total of 13 semi trucks, including Chris Harrison https://www.facebook.com/ChrisHarrison76?fref=ufi&rc=p who posted something about it on the Twisted Truckers Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/twistedtruckers/, responded. They parked their rigs beneath the overpass, creating a second floor with the trailers as MSP tried to talk the man down. After speaking with negotiators from multiple police departments for two hours, the man walked off the overpass. He was then transported to a nearby hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. I-696 was re-opened at around 4 a.m., in time for the morning rush hour.
We first learned about this incident on LiveTrucking.com http://livetrucking.com/suicidal-man-saved-by-team-of-truckers-parked-beneath-bridge/ and found more details in a local news account http://www.theoaklandpress.com/general-news/20180424/truckers-line-up-beneath-i-696-overpass-to-keep-man-from-jumping-in-oak-park by Mike McConnell from the Oakland Press in Troy, Michigan.
MSP Metro Detroit also posted a photo of the 13 trucks parked beneath the overpass on its Twitter feed – https://twitter.com/mspmetrodet/status/988789208562225153
What do you think your company would say if you called them in the middle of the night letting them know about this? We would be interested in hearing what you think.