A 25 year old man was speeding and swerving in the northbound lanes of 275 early this morning, according to the Tampa Bay Times. At about 1am, they say he ran into a Tampa Police Department patrol SUV. Inside was 45 year old Master Patrol Officer Jesse Madsen. Neither survived the collision.
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said Madsen leaves behind his wife and children. Dugan fought back tears as he spoke about Madsen, a “highly decorated” member of the department, United States Marine and dedicated father. He said Madsen had been with Tampa PD for over 16 years and won multiple awards for his service, adding “Our community has been rocked by these wrong way drivers and it’s just a complete tragedy that a husband and a father of 4 is now gone.”Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister tweeted “It pains me to say that for the third time this year, our Tampa Bay law enforcement community has lost one of our own in the line of duty. His sacrifice for the safety of our community will never be forgotten.”
Fox 13’s Dan Matics reports that Officer Madsen actually veered his vehicle into the driver so he could protect others on the road. The wrong way driver has been identified as Joshua Montague from Colorado. He was driving a rental car. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
We’ll update this story throughout the day as more information comes in.