A truly heroic act has ended the honorable life of an incredibly highly decorated Tampa Bay Police officer and Marine Corps combat veteran, 45 year-old Officer Jesse Madsen. According to local affiliate Fox13, Madsen’s life “was cut short in a wrong-way crash, and investigators believe he purposely veered into the oncoming vehicle to save others.” Madsen had been with Tampa PD for 16 years and was recipient of seven police life-saving awards.
The heroic officer served first as a United States Marine, then as a police officer in Lyndhurst and Shaker Heights, Ohio.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and fellow officers,” the Shaker Heights Police Department wrote in a statement.
According to 11Alive, “Chief of Police Pat Rhode in Lyndhurst, Ohio, told 10 Tampa Bay he was Madsen’s training officer in 1999 when he first started his career in law enforcement. Rhode said they became friends and he described Madsen as “selfless.”
HERO: Investigators believe Tampa Police Officer Jesse Madsen saw the wrong-way driver on I-275 and purposely crashed into him in order to save the lives of others on the road. Madsen was a 7-time recipient of the agency's "Life Saving Award." STORY: https://t.co/i3Rpisfdgp pic.twitter.com/S4WIcj2JxG
— FOX 13 Tampa Bay (@FOX13News) March 9, 2021
Madsen’s Heroic Sacrifice to Save Tampa Citizens
Chief Brian Dugan of Tampa PD told reporters that the Police Department received an emergency call before 1AM March 9th regarding a white car that was driving erratically, swerving between lanes and speeding on northbound I-275. Merely a minute later they received a tragic second call as officers arrived on-scene the Chief explained. There was a high-speed, head-on collision, between a Tampa PD cruiser and the white vehicle. That cruiser was driven by Officer Madsen. The wrong-way driver was identified as 25-year-old Joshua Montague, from Golden, Colorado, who also died following the crash. Montague was in a rental vehicle, according to Fox13.
Chief Dugan clarified Madsen’s actions for the press,
“We have reason to believe that he veered into this oncoming car to protect others,” he explained. “When you look at someone who has seven life-saving awards, it’s no surprise.”
Madsen leaves behind his wife and fellow Police Officer, Danyelle Madsen, who has served the USF Police for 7 years, his 10-year-old daughter, and sons, aged 12 and 16. “This is a tragedy,” Dugan said. “Our community has been rocked by these wrong-way drivers. It’s just a complete tragedy that a husband and father of four is now gone.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said via Twitter, “Casey DeSantis and I are heartbroken by the death of Tampa PD 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.”
Help for a Police Family In Need
The Madsen family is being supported with donations through the Tampa Police foundation, Rise Tampa. Officials have said 100% of the donations will be given directly to the family to help them through this tragedy. Such a heroic end to such an honorable life is worthy of remembrance, and his memory lives on in his family.
There are several ways to donate if you so wish:
In person – Monetary donations can be submitted to any Bank of Tampa branch in MPO Madsen’s name
By mail – Checks or money orders can be sent to:
i/c/o MPO Madsen
PO Box 172816
Tampa, FL 33672
Online – risetampa.org/officermadsen
Venmo – @risetampa
PayPal – paypal.com/paypalme/risetampa