Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Happiness turned to tragedy during a Los Angeles vacation with a father’s death that stranded a 13-year-old Illinois boy in California away from his mother in Illinois.

But a reserve LAPD officer came to the teen’s rescue by voluntarily giving the youth the officer’s Southwest Airline miles for a free flight home.

Juan Fernandez, 37, died about 12:15 p.m. Sunday, apparently of natural causes, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

His teenage son had no family in Los Angeles, and there was an issue as to how he was going to get home to his mother in Illinois.

“Officers contacted Southwest Airlines to re-schedule the son’s return flight, because he had missed his earlier flight due to his father’s death and the investigation,” according to an LAPD statement. “Southwest Airlines was having difficulty re-scheduling the return flight.”

Reserve Officer Drew Terenzini heard what happened and, without hesitation, offered his Southwest Rapid Rewards airline mileage to ensure that the teenager made it home to his mother, according to the LAPD.

Southwest Airlines Tuesday reached out to the Fernandez family to assist with the transportation of Fernandez’s body and his personal effects, according to the police department.

Officers contacted the Southwest Airline Grief Unit, which assigned a flight attendant to assist the boy during his flight home.

City News Service 

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