Trooper Thomas Hendrickson
Thomas Hendrickson was born on July 24, 1943, in Warren, Pennsylvania. The East Coast native attended school in York, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Eastern High School in 1961. He furthered his education, receiving a degree in sociology from Elizabethtown College in 1965.
Hendrickson moved to Washington State after joining the Boeing Company in April 1966, working at the Renton plant with a career focused on personnel. Hendrickson was also in the Army Reserves in Bellingham.
He married the love of his life, Barbara, on July 29, 1966.
Hendrickson reported for Basic Training in August 1966, and then returned to Boeing.
Hendrickson’s career path changed from Boeing to the Washington State Patrol. He was hired as a cadet on January 12, 1970, assigned to Everett. He joined the 46th trooper cadet class and was successfully commissioned on November 9, 1970, under the leadership of Chief Will Bachofner.
Newly commissioned Trooper Hendrickson found himself working again in Everett. He later moved to Mount Vernon in November 1971, and was awarded a safe-driving award in 1972.
Thomas and Barbara grew into a family, becoming parents to two sons: Steve in 1972, and Mark in 1974.
Trooper Thomas Hendrickson died on November 17, 1974, at the age of 31. Trooper Hendrickson was at the driver's door of a vehicle he stopped eastbound on State Route 20, when he was struck and killed by a hit and run driver who had been traveling westbound in the eastbound lane. The hit and run driver was later arrested after troopers observed the vehicle pass through the collision scene. The driver's blood alcohol was .12. At the time of his death, Trooper Hendrickson had served almost four years with the Washington State Patrol.
Trooper Hendrickson's wife, Barbara, never remarried and still lives at the same residence in Mount Vernon. She keeps busy with her grandchildren and traveling to the East Coast to visit family.
Steve, their oldest son, was two and a half years old at the time of his father's death. Steve works as a supervisor at Echo Glen Correctional Facility in Snoqualmie, working with juveniles. Steve and his wife, Lindsey, are proud parents of two boys, Luke, who is ten years old, and Owen, who is six years old. They live in the Renton area.
Their youngest son, Mark, was only five months old at the time of his father's death. Mark was drafted into the NBA by the Philadelphia 76ers, and played baseball for the Toronto Blue Jays before officially retiring in 2016. Mark and six other athletes were inducted into the WSU Hall of Fame on September 16, 2016. Mark spent several years as a pitching coach with one of the Baltimore Orioles' minor league teams. Mark works in real estate, owning his own company. Mark and his wife, Courtney, have three daughters, Sadie, who will turn ten later this month, Sophia Joy, who is seven years old, and Elliana, who is three years old. Mark adopted his step-daughter, Hannah, in the fall of 2018. Hannah married in 2019, and has a daughter, Nora, who is six years old.
In May of 1998, Trooper Hendrickson was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for his actions on November 17, 1974, by the Law Enforcement – Medal of Honor Committee.
A memorial was dedicated to Trooper Hendrickson at the Burlington WSP office in 2011. Barbara wants to remind troopers to be safe during your traffic stops by contacting violators on the passenger side of the vehicle.
On June 17, 2020, in honor of Trooper Hendrickson, the section of State Route 20 from milepost 52 to milepost 59 was designated as the “State Trooper Thomas Hendrickson Memorial Highway”, according to a resolution passed by the Washington State Transportation Commission.
Please take a moment to remember Trooper Thomas Hendrickson and his family.