DENVER (KDVR) — Florida was supposed to be a fresh start for Josh Montague. He was looking forward to starting a new job and a new life.
“He wanted something different. He wanted to start over,” explained Sandra Bundy, his former partner.
However, the 25-year-old ended up losing his life instead.
Montague moved to Tampa from Aurora, and had been in the city for a little over a day when he got onto Interstate 275 headed the wrong way.
Police dispatchers began receiving calls about a car speeding and swerving through traffic going the wrong direction.
Tampa Police Officer Jesse Madsen, a highly decorated officer and Marine, responded and heroically veered his car into Montague’s path to try to save the lives of others. Both men were killed in the collision.
“If he took steps to save others by laying down his life, that really is a true testament to the individual Jesse Madsen was,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.
Madsen was not only a husband and father of three, but also a seven-time recipient of the Tampa Police Department’s Life Saving Award.
Witnesses say he saved many lives early Tuesday.
Police are now investigating why Montague ended up on the interstate going the wrong direction.
He leaves behind a 3-year-old daughter.
“They are both lost and they both have children that they’re not able to go home to anymore,” said Bundy.
“We are so sorry for the officer’s family, don’t get us wrong, but he was a dad too and we loved him,” added Bundy’s aunt, Christine Magee.