Madsen, 71, died while returning home from Nashville, the NFL confirmed in a news release shared on its official website Monday (October 26).
"Carl Madsen was an NFL officiating fixture for more than two decades, first as a highly respected on-field official before transitioning to a replay role beginning in 2009," NFL senior VP of officiating training and development Walt Anderson said in a statement shared to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. "A terrific friend and colleague, Carl's love of football and dedication to officiating was ever-present, as he generously shared his time to mentor young officials at clinics across the country. A veteran of the Air Force, Carl had a tremendous spirit and will be greatly missed."
Madsen had previously worked as an on-field official from 1997 to 2008 before assuming the role of replay official in 2009.
He was serving in his 12th consecutive season at the time of his death, making him the most experienced, along with Paul Weidner, of the league's 17 replay officials.
Madsen had also previously served in the U.S. Air Force from 1973-76, according to NFL.com.
Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron confirmed police responded to a call at 4:46 p.m. CT and Madsen was located inside a vehicle, which officers broke open a window to remove him from and performed chest compressions until the Nashville Fire Department arrived at the scene, the Associated Press reports.
The 71-year-old was transported to St. Thomas Midtown Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.