It was all hands on deck in Arlington, Texas when another teen threatened to end their life. A young person stood on the edge of a bridge, threatening to throw themselves over it and snuff out the pain they were feeling, when a police officer arrived on the scene – however, the cop could use some backup, so he decided to approach a truck driver nearby with a simple question: “Hey, are you in a big rush?”
The incident was happening on the bridge along Interstate 20 in southeast Arlington. Because the teen was standing on the bridge, threatening to end their life, traffic had stopped. Police officers rushed to the scene and started to negotiate with the suicidal young person.
Officer Deric Sheriff was the one to approach the truck driver for backup. He wore a body cam, so everything was caught on video. The footage got released by the police department on Wednesday to pay tribute to Officer Sheriff and the truck driver for stepping in to help save the teen’s life.
When the officer asked the driver if he was in a rush, the driver responded:
“Not a super big rush.”
Sheriff then asked the driver if he’d pull his massive truck under the bridge. If the teen decided to jump, then he’d land on the trailer, which would help break his fall and perhaps save his life.
The driver agreed to help. Officer Sheriff guided him forward and helped him line up the trailer so it had the best chance that the teen could “land on the trailer.”
Sheriff was doing everything he could to help save the young man’s life. He didn’t know if it would work, but he was going to pull out all the stops.
“From my point, I couldn’t tell if the semi was in the right position or not,” he said. “But the next thing I see is the individual stand up on the top of the trailer, and I was like, okay we’re safe.”
Although Sheriff had risked his life as part of the police department for eighteen years, he’d never had a day as hard or as gripping as this one. And the truck driver never knew anything like this either.
The truck driver was Dwayne Crawford. He was making his delivery and was on the job when Sherriff approached him with the life-saving request. Because Crawford has a generous heart, he was obliged to help. He didn’t want the teen’s death on his conscience. No one would.
“He was coming to me,” Crawford said about first seeing Officer Sheriff. “He said, this guy’s going to jump.”
Crawford heard the moment the teen landed on the top of his trailer. Thankfully the boy was fine. He was not injured. Although he needed treatment for his depression, as do millions of Americans each year.
“By me being there, I gave him a different option,” Crawford said.
Chief Will Johnson posted an update on Twitter thanking Crawford for his pivotal role in saving the teen’s life.
That’s the funny thing about life. You never know when you’ll be called to step up and become a hero
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.