Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office reported that six-year veteran John Robert Kotfila Jr., 30, died following the head-on collision.
The deputy’s marked vehicle was struck by a wrong-way driver heading westbound in the eastbound lanes just west of the I-75 overpass on the Selmon Expressway around 3:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
Authorities received an emergency call reporting the wrong-way driver around 2:45 a.m. The male driver, identified as Erik Thomas McBeth, 30, of Hudson, turned onto the expressway through the eastbound ramp at the Brandon Express upper deck exit. The westbound ramp was closed and traffic control devices were operational indicating the closure, according to the report.
The Hillsborough deputy was leaving Tampa General Hospital after a traffic crash investigation and was headed eastbound on the expressway. HCSO reported that Kotfila was unable to avoid the crash.
The driver of the white 2013 GMC Terrain, McBeth, was pronounced dead at the scene. The deputy had to be extricated from his cruiser. He was transported to TGH where he later died.