John Kotfila Sr. rushed to Florida from Massachusetts after hearing the news that his son John Kotfila Jr. was killed in the line of duty. A family member told him the news early Saturday morning.
"When he told me, I was devastated, I don't remember what happened after that I just know I was on the ground and it was tough, very tough," said Kotfila.
Deputy John Kotfila Jr. was hit and killed by a wrong way driver last Saturday on the Selmon Expressway.
FUNERAL SERVICES - Friday, March 18
- St. Timothy's Catholic Church located at 17512 Lakeshore Road in Lutz on Friday, March 18.
- Open visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
- The service will begin at 1:00 p.m.
- Anyone wishing to donate to the family of Deputy John R. Kotfila, Jr. may do so via the Lynn Sowers Memorial Foundation. Click here to donate
His younger sister, Katelyn said she misses their daily phone calls. She said he always wanted to update her on his dog Dexter.
"He was the person we would call whenever we had any issues with cars or computers and if he didn't know it he would look it up," said Katelyn Kotfila.
Deputy Kotfila comes from a long line of law enforcement officers. His father and two grandfathers were both in law enforcement. His childhood friend, Kyle Murhpy said Kotfila always wanted to be a law enforcement officer.
"He loved to serve, he loved helping other people and said why not make a career out of it," said Murphy.
Deputy Kotfila's story will be placed at the Fallen Officer's Memorial in Tampa. Earlier this week a witness to the crash called Kotfila a hero, because he put his vehicle between hers and the wrong way driver.
"It made us feel better knowing that his sacrifice wasn't in vain," said Kotfila.