NewsHillsborough County

Actions

Widow of TPD officer killed in wrong-way crash on I-275 sues FDOT

Master-Patrol-Officer-Jesse-Madsen-TPD.jpg
Posted at 8:05 AM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 08:35:40-04

TAMPA, Fla.  — The widow of a Tampa Police officer who died last year after he veered into the path of a wrong-way driver is suing the Florida Department of Transportation for failing to maintain early detection systems designed to prevent wrong-way drivers from getting onto the interstate.

Officer Jesse Madsen, 45, was off-duty when he died early on the morning of March 9, 2021, on I-275.

Former Police Chief Brian Dugan said at the time that Madsen purposely entered the wrong-way driver's path in an effort to protect others. The impact killed Madsen and the other driver, who was identified as 25-year-old Joshua Daniel Montague of Golden, Colorado.

RELATED:

Now Danyelle Madsen is suing FDOT and Transcore. The lawsuit alleges that the failure to maintain an early detection system designed to prevent wrong-way drivers from accessing the interstate contributed to Officer Madsen's death.

Jesse Madsen.png

Transcore is under contract with FDOT and is responsible for maintaining Florida’s Intelligent Transportation Systems, which include the Wrong Way Detection System at Busch Boulevard, according to a press release.

The Yerrid Law Firm is representing Danyelle Madsen and her three children.

“Sadly, a hero’s unnecessary and tragic death occurred because of a system failure that should have never happened. We intend to pursue justice for the sake of the family and, just as importantly, to make every effort to ensure a tragedy like this does not happen to another family," Steve Yerrid said.

According to the law firm, between January 2020 and February 2021 there were five incidents at Busch Boulevard that involved wrong-way drivers entering I-275. The firm said in those instances, the early detection system worked, warned the drivers they were going the wrong way and allowed them to correct their course.

The system uses radar to detect vehicles that are traveling the wrong way and is supposed to immediately activate flashing lights along the exit ramp, notify the Florida Highway Patrol and activate warning signs along the interstate to warn other motorists of the danger, a press release said.

The law firm alleges it has reason to believe the wrong-way detection system at Busch Boulevard experienced numerous issues in the days leading up to the deadly crash which caused the system to repeatedly malfunction.

Read the full lawsuit below.

Madsen Lawsuit by ABC Action News on Scribd