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Fallen Police Officer Believed to Have Veered Into Oncoming Traffic to Protect Others in His Final Moments

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Early Tuesday morning in Tampa, Florida, a 25-year-old from Colorado managed to get onto a freeway going the wrong way and began dodging cars.

Calls were made, and a Tampa police officer responded. He drove along Interstate 275 and ended up hitting the wrong-way driver head-on.

It looked like just a horrible accident, but there is reason to believe it might have been an intentional, final, heroic act by Officer Jesse Madsen, who was killed in the crash.

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Madsen, 45, was a Marine Corps vet and the recipient of not one, not two, but seven Life-Saving Awards from the Tampa Police Department.

He was a husband and father who loved going fishing with his kids and made an impact on the lives of many. And now he’s gone after the head-on collision that took place early Tuesday morning.

“Just before 1:00 AM on Tuesday morning, Tampa Police began receiving calls about a white vehicle driving southbound in the northbound lanes of I275 at a high rate of speed and swerving through the lanes,” the city of Tampa said in a news release Tuesday.

“Within a minute of the original call, the vehicle crashed into Officer Madsen’s police vehicle between the Hillsborough and Sligh Avenue exits. The impact killed both Jesse and the driver of the white sedan.”

“He earned our life-saving award seven times during his career,” Chief Brian Dugan said, according to Fox News. “We have reason to believe that he had veered into this oncoming car to protect others.

“So when you look at someone who has earned seven life-saving awards, it’s no surprise that he would take such swift action and do this.”

Madsen, who had wanted to be a police officer since he was just 8 years old, leaves behind children ages 10, 12 and 16.

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“I don’t know really what to say other than he was extremely loved and was a very outgoing, strong, courageous guy,” Julia Madsen, his stepmother, told Fox News.

“He had the spirit of adventure in him from day one. He was always there for friends and family.”

A memorial fund has been set up for the family.

“They clearly are devastated,” Mayor Jane Castor said about Madsens.

“They are very, very thankful for the thoughts and prayers of the entire community.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking