The chief of the Tampa Police Department says an officer who was killed in a crash with a wrong-way driver Tuesday morning on Interstate 275 used his vehicle and sacrificed his life to protect other motorists.

Chief Brian Dugan said Officer Jesse Madsen, 45, served 16 years with the Tampa PD and received seven life-saving awards during his time with the department.

Dugan said Joshua Daniel Montague, 25, of Golden, Colorado, was traveling the wrong way on the interstate when he hit Madsen’s patrol vehicle. Both Madsen and Montague died, WFLA reports.

“We have reason to believe that he [Madsen] veered into this oncoming car to protect others,” Dugan said. “That is what we have gathered through some of our witnesses from our investigation.”

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