TOLLAND, Conn. — Editor's Note: This story mentions suicide. If you know someone or are contemplating suicide, call the suicide prevention hotline at 988 for immediate help 24/7. Veterans can call 988 and press 1 for the Veterans Crisis Line.
Connecticut State Police is raising awareness on the mental health of military veterans and suicide prevention after an intense and moving moment on Interstate-84 in Tolland on Sunday.
State police trooper Kyle Kaelberer conducted traffic enforcement on I-84 on Sunday, which happened to be on the anniversary of Sept. 11, when he saw a truck pull over on the shoulder near Exit 68 with its hazard lights on.
Kaelberer walked over to the truck to speak to the driver. The encounter was caught on his police body camera.
The man behind the wheel was in emotional distress and could be heard crying in the video.
"We'll help you out, alright bud? I'm here for you," Kaelberer told the man.
During the encounter, Kaelberer reassured the man, as the man explained he was a U.S. Army veteran and was on the phone with a suicide prevention hotline for veterans.
"It's a tough time for everyone in your position," Kaelberer told the man as he conducted a quick check for anything in his pockets.
The trooper called for an ambulance for medical care. After the man expressed worry about affording the ambulance, Kaelberer told the man the ambulance bill would not be sent to him.
The trooper then gave the man a hug when asked. The body cam footage ends after that moment.
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