Breaking News Emails
A sheriff's deputy was killed by a wrong-way driver after wrapping up a crash investigation in Florida, officials said Saturday.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department ordered flags flown at half staff following the death of Deputy John Kotfila, 30, in the crash on the Selmon Expressway at around 2:45 a.m. Saturday.
Kotfila had just left Tampa General Hospital following a traffic-crash investigation and was traveling eastbound on the expressway's upper deck when his cruiser was hit head on at high speed, NBC station WFLA reported.
Sheriff David Gee said the most "dreaded part" of his job is getting news that a deputy has died in the line of duty.
"The tragic loss of one of my deputies has all of our hearts heavy," he said in a statement posted on Facebook. "But this sadness is tempered with an enduring pride that our deputy fought the good fight."
Kotfila came from a law-enforcement family.
His brother serves as a Massachusetts police officer and his father is sergeant with the Massachusetts State Police — which offered condolences and prayers for the Kotfila family.
"It is clear that Sergeant Kotfila instilled in his children the same sense of duty, dedication, and service to others that he himself has embraced throughout his career," state police said in a statement. "Tonight, with heavy hearts, we grieve the loss of a hero who was a member of our extended Massachusetts State family."