Officer helps kids get to prom after car crash

Posted at 6:59 PM, May 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 13:49:36-04

Four local high school students were involved in a car crash on their way to the senior prom, but a San Diego police officer refused to let them miss the big event.

On Friday night, four La Costa Canyon High School students crashed in the Barrio Logan area, and SDPD Officer Mark Hendricks responded to the call.

"You could tell they were pretty bummed," Hendricks explained. "They were all dressed in tuxes and prom dresses."

The kids were OK and all dressed up with somewhere to go, but no way to get there.

"I asked them where they were going," Hendricks said.

His questioning revealed a quandary.

"They said they were going to their prom. I think it was around 8:45 p.m., and they said their prom doors were closing at 9:00 p.m.," he added.

At the stroke of 9 p.m., they would miss out on what is supposed to be a magical night.

"I knew they weren't going to make it if they had to wait for their parents to come down or get a taxi," Hendricks said.

Hendricks, who made it to his prom, told 10News, "When you're that age, it's one of the most important things."

Hendricks said he will never forget his prom.

"I asked a girl who I really liked and of course I was nervous," he added.

He didn't go into detail because he is happily married and wants to keep it that way.

Hendricks knew he had to help; it is in his nature. He served in the Coast Guard before getting his badge.

Now a dad, he told the kids to hop into his police cruiser, and they all headed for prom at the San Diego Zoo.

"They seemed to enjoy the ride," Hendricks said. "They were taking selfies in the police vehicle and asking a lot of questions. It was fun for me as well."

He had just enough horsepower to save the day and get them to prom in time.

"It was right before 9:00 p.m.," he said with a smile.

Medics took the woman in the other car and her passenger to the hospital, but they should be OK.

There is no word on how the crash happened.