Tunnels to Towers pays off mortgages for families of two Bay Area law enforcement officers

A nonprofit foundation has paid off the mortgages on the homes of two Tampa Bay area law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty earlier this year.

The Tunnels to Towers Foundation paid off the homes for the families of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Deputy Michael Magli and Tampa Police Master Patrol Officer Jesse Madsen.

On February 17, Magli was attempting to deploy stop sticks in an effort to stop the suspect, who was leading authorities on a high-speed chase. But as Magli moved the stop sticks onto the road, the suspect's vehicle went out of control, flipped over, and violently hit the deputy and his cruiser, pinning Magli underneath the car.

The 30-year-old deputy left behind his wife, Stephanie, and two daughters.

Magli family with Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri (Courtesy: Tunnels to Towers Foundation)

RELATED: Fallen hero: Community says farewell to Deputy Michael Magli

"Knowing my home is paid off is such a huge weight off my shoulders. To know that our two young children will always have a roof over their heads and they can grow up in this home like we always dreamed leaves me speechless," Stephanie Magli said in a statement. "I cannot be more thankful or honored that Tunnel to Towers provided our family, my children with the ability to stay in the home that Michael and I created together."

Madsen was killed in the early morning hours of March 9 on I-275 when police say he intentionally drove into the path of a wrong-way drunk driver to save the lives of others on the road. The 45-year-old officer left behind three children and his wife, Danyelle Madsen, who is also a police officer.

"After hearing the news about my husband everything was upside down and surreal. In the days that followed one of my worries was having to move from the house that our family made our home," Danyelle Madsen said in a statement provided by the nonprofit. "How do I return to my job as a police officer to pay a mortgage with my kids begging me not to return for fear of losing another parent?"

Danyelle Madsen with Tampa police officers (Courtesy: Tunnels to Towers Foundation)

RELATED: Hero officer Jesse Madsen remembered as a brave friend, dedicated father

She continued, "My husband was not only the love of my life but our protector, our sense of security and protection and it was all gone in the blink of an eye. I felt scared and all alone even with people flooding our home with support. The Foundation restored a huge part of my sense of security, and I can never thank you enough."

The Tunnels to Towers Foundation's Fallen First Responder Program pays off the mortgages for the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty with young children.

"We cannot replace the loss of a husband and father but we can make sure these families can stay in the place they called home," said Tunnel to Towers Chairman and CEO Frank Siller.

For more information on the Tunnels to Towers Foundation, visit their website