TAMPA, Fla. – A Tampa police officer was struck and killed early Tuesday by a wrong-way driver on Interstate 275, according to authorities.
Master Patrol Officer Jesse Madsen, 45, died in the wreck, which happened just before 1 a.m. on northbound I-275 near the Hillsborough and Sligh Avenue exits, Tampa police said.
According to police, several drivers called 911, saying a white car was driving south on I-275 north while swerving between lanes at a high rate of speed.
Within a minute of the original call, the vehicle crashed into Madsen’s police vehicle, killing both drivers, according to officials.
Police said it’s not yet known why the driver was traveling the wrong way or where he entered the interstate. An investigation is ongoing.
Madsen, seven-time recipient of the Tampa Police Department’s Life Saving Award, leaves behind a wife and three children.
“(He) dedicated his life to the safety and service of others -- as a U.S. Marine combat veteran and, for the past 16 years, as a Tampa Police Officer,” a news release from TPD said. “Jesse was a guardian of this city. He will never be forgotten.”
.@FLCaseyDeSantis and I are heartbroken by the death of @TampaPD Officer Jesse Madsen who was tragically killed in the line of duty. We extend our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and the Tampa law enforcement community.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 9, 2021