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Hero: Officer killed by wrong-way driver on highway sacrificed himself to save other motorists

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Update: During a press conference yesterday, Tampa Bay Police Chief Brian Dugan said that after gathering information from witnesses, “we have reason to believe that [Officer Jesse Madsen] veered into this oncoming car to protect others.”

Earlier:

Joe Mario Pedersen

Orlando Sentinel

A Florida police officer was killed early Tuesday by a wrong-way driver on a Tampa interstate highway.

Tampa Police Master Patrol Officer Jesse Madsen, 45, died just before 1 a.m. on Interstate 275 near the Hillsborough and Sligh Avenue exits, Tampa police said.

Police received a call before 1 a.m. about a white car traveling the wrong way on the interstate. As units responded, Tampa police received another call 1-minute later about a vehicle crash between a Tampa squad car and the white vehicle.

The driver of the white car was a 25-year-old man who has not been identified. Authorities are still investigating the scene.

Madsen was a highly decorated officer, a seven-time lifesaving award winner, a father of four children and a U.S. Marine, Tampa police said.

Madsen is the 32nd Tampa police officer to die in the line of duty.

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