HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Authorities say an off-duty police officer initially thought to have been killed in a car crash died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Mercer County prosecutors say 44-year-old Hamilton Township officer Tom White was off-duty Monday when his SUV struck the back of a van in Hamilton. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The van driver wasn’t injured.

White spent nearly eight years on the Hamilton force, most recently as a middle school officer. He also served on the Hamilton Police Athletic League’s board of directors.

White and another officer were recognized for rescuing two people during a fatal house fire in January 2011.

The crash came three days after another collision in Woolwich Township that killed an off-duty officer and injured his wife and three children.