Funeral held for 'hero' deputy killed in wrong-way crash

- It was a sea of law enforcement uniforms at St. Timothy's Catholic Church on Friday. Officers from around the state and beyond attended the funeral of Hillsborough County Deputy John Kotfila.

"I have been a priest for 20 years," said Father Kenneth Maffey, from the pulpit.  "I have never seen anything like this."

The governor, attorney general, and others showed up to pay their respects as well.

"I am proud and honored to call John a hero," offered Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee.  "He deserved it."

Kotfilia was killed last weekend on the LeRoy Selmon Expressway when he crashed into a wrong-way driver, who was also killed. A woman said Kotfila darted past her car so that the wrong-way driver would not hit her.

In the days leading up to his funeral, his co-workers and loved ones said his energy, his smile and his presence will be greatly missed.

Kotfila comes from a long line of law enforcement. His grandfathers, father, uncle, and brother all served time as officers, most in his home state of Massachusetts.

Dozens of officers came from state agencies to pay their respects.

"It was an honor for us to drive down and support our brother officer," said Capt. Jeffery Smith of  the Falmounth Police Department.

Kotfila will be buried in Massachusetts.


Law enforcement from Mass remember Hillsborough deputy John Kotfila.

Posted by FOX 13's Ken Suarez on Friday, March 18, 2016
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