Although they were born about a decade apart, State Patrol trooper Thomas Hendrickson and Skagit County Sheriff’s Office deputy Alan Hultgren had much in common: Both were young family men with a passion for their communities who dedicated themselves to law enforcement.
Just a few years into their respective careers, the lives of both men were cut short by suspected drunk drivers on Highway 20 — Hendrickson in 1974 at age 31 and Hultgren in 1981 at age 30.
“Both these men died doing what they loved to do,” Skagit County Sheriff Don McDermott said.
Spurred by former Skagit County Sheriff Gary Frazier and in partnership with the State Patrol, McDermott has launched the Fallen Hero Project, which seeks to honor the two law enforcement officers by renaming the sections of the highway on which they were killed.
“It’s a good opportunity not only for first responders but citizens to remember them,” McDermott said.