Just moments before a teen jumped off a Texas overpass, a semi-driver had parked underneath it in hopes of lessening the fall.
The trucker knew to be there thanks to a quick-thinking officer with the Arlington Police Department, video shows.
Officer Deric Sheriff was in the area working a traffic stop on I-20 when he heard the call about a teen contemplating suicide on the Kelly Elliot Bridge, KDFW reported. While Sheriff and another officer were stopping traffic, Sheriff said he was looking for a big-rig that could help lessen the fall if the teen jumped, according to the station.
What happened next was captured on his body camera. The video from Wednesday morning was posted to Twitter by Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson.
“Hey, are you in a big rush,” Sheriff is heard asking as he walked up to a truck driver with his window down.
“Not in a super big rush,” the trucker replied.
Sheriff then asked the driver if he could park under the bridge in case the teen decided to jump, video shows.
“He’ll land on the trailer,” Sheriff said. The trucker’s trailer was 13-feet tall, KTVT reported.
The trucker agreed, and the body-cam video shows his 18-wheeler as it headed toward the overpass.
He parked his semi-truck near the bridge, but “from my point, I couldn’t tell if the semi was in the right position or not,” Sheriff said, according to KHOU.
“As soon as I went under and started under the bridge, I looked up,” trucker Dwayne Crawford said, according to KDFW. “The young man looks down at me, and I thought, ‘Oh, man. He’s serious.’”
Then, right after the trucker was stopped, the teen jumped off the bridge, Sheriff said, according to KTVT. And the big-rig was there.
”As soon as I got under the bridge with my tractor and got the trailer under it, I felt a thump,” Crawford said, according to KDFW.
The teen boy is “physically fine,” KHOU reported. He was taken to a hospital, according to KTVT.
Johnson tweeted that this act was “excellent crisis intervention to help this teen!”
Sheriff told KDFW that he has served as an officer for 17 years, but this is an act he’ll never forget. He, too, used to be a truck driver, the station reported.
“The whole reason 99.9% of us got in this job is to make a difference and to help,” he said, according to KDFW.
Crawford was also grateful he could help, KTVT reported, as he has lost a family member to suicide.
“And it’s not a good thing,” he said, according to the station. “(I) always ask what could I have done. Well, today, I did something. Maybe he can get some help. Maybe he can’t. But today it didn’t happen.”