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Hero Down: Tampa Police Officer Jesse Madsen Killed By Wrong-Way Driver

Tampa, FL – Tampa Police Officer Jesse Madsen was killed in the line of duty early on Tuesday morning when his police vehicle was struck head-on while he was responding to a call about a wrong-way driver.

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said Officer Madsen was dispatched just before 1 a.m. on March 9 to a call about a driver going the wrong way on Interstate 275, WFTS reported.

Chief Dugan said the 911 caller had reported that the wrong-way driver was speeding and swerving in and out of lanes on the freeway.

Officer Madsen’s vehicle was struck head on between Sligh and Hillsborough Avenues on the interstate, WFTS reported.

WTSP reported that Tampa police investigators think Officer Madsen may have swerved into the oncoming car to protect others on the highway.

The veteran officer was killed in the crash.

The driver of the vehicle who hit Officer Madsen’s police vehicle was a 25-year-old man who was also killed, WFTS reported.

Police have not yet released the driver’s identity, but WTSP reported that he was from Golden, Colorado and was driving a rental car.

Officer Madsen was a member of the Tampa police force for 16 years and a seven-time winner of the Tampa Police Department’s Lifesaving Award, WFTS reported.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a combat veteran.

Officer Madsen was a dedicated husband and father to three children, according to WFTS.

“This is a tragedy,” Chief Dugan said. “Our community has been rocked by these wrong-way drivers, and it’s just a complete tragedy that a husband and a father of [three] is now gone.”

A procession of Tampa police vehicles with lights flashing escorted the ambulance carrying Officer Madsen’s body from the crash scene, WFTS reported.

“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. Tampa Police Officer Jesse Madsen was killed in a wrong-way crash this morning,” Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “Officer Madsen’s sacrifice for the safety of our community will never be forgotten. All of us on #teamHCSO are praying for and will stand with you @TampaPD.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Tampa Police Officer Jesse Madsen, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Officer Jesse Madsen, your life mattered.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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