Published On: Tue, Mar 15th, 2016

Sarah Geren says Officer John Kotfila a ‘hero’ saved her life

The Florida woman who called 911 after seeing a wrong-way driver headed toward her on the expressway believes  Deputy John Kotfila Jr. intentionally drove into the path of the vehicle to block the wrong-way driver from hitting her.

Sarah Geren has spoken out about the event, describing how she saw Erik McBeth, 31, barreling towards her, driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of the Leroy Selmon Expressway near Brandon.

John Kotifla Jr.

John Kotifla Jr.

“As I realized the car was coming towards me faster and I started flashing my lights at him crazily, like a strobe light. I couldn’t think of any other way to say ‘Stop driving towards me!”

Geren described how the tragedy unfolded.

“I started to pull over to the side of the road, but that hadn’t even occurred all the way when the officer rushed around me… one or two seconds after he passed me, he hit the car, instead of me,” said Geren.

Kotfila, Jr., 30, was a deputy at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. He had just left a hospital where he had been working on an investigation when he intercepted the vehicle in another wrong way driver incident.

“This man put himself in front of us as a human shield. Absolutely. He definitely saw what was going on. When I take a step back and look at the way everything occurred, he absolutely was a human shield for us,” said Geren.

She will always remember HCSO Deputy Kotfila as her hero, as his colleagues at the sheriff’s office remember him as a friend with an infectious smile.

“John was selected because of his attitude. He was a well-rounded person that you wanted to be around,” said HCSO Sgt. Jeffery Massaro.

“Our HCSO family is one less today. The tragic loss of one of my deputies has all of our hearts heavy,” Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said. “The most dreaded part of being sheriff of Hillsborough County is getting the news that a deputy has lost his or her life in the line of duty.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON


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