HAMILTON, N.J. (CBS) — An off-duty police officer authorities say initially died in a car accident actually committed suicide, according to police.
The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement 44-year-old Thomas White, an officer with the Hamilton Police Department, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound while he was driving.
Police were called to the scene of an accident shortly after 3 p.m. on Monday on the 2700 block of Nottingham Way after a truck collided with a white commercial van.
The van’s driver was not injured. White was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled White’s death a suicide.
“Officer Tom White touched the lives of thousands of young people in Hamilton Township through his work with the LEAD program, as Officer Friendly, and as the director of Safety Town. He will be sorely missed, as an officer and a good friend,” Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said.
“Officer Thomas White was a fine officer that performed his job well and was extremely well-liked. He will be greatly missed. On behalf of the entire Hamilton Police Division, our thoughts and prayers are with Officer White’s family,” Hamilton Police Chief James Collins said.
White was part of the department for seven years after graduating the Mercer County Police Academy in July 2009. White received numerous awards and was assigned to Reynolds Middle School as a Law Enforcement Against Drugs officer.
Anyone with information about the accident is asked to contact Mercer County Prosecutor’s Sgt. Gary Wasko at 609-989-6317.