Source: Driver who struck, killed Canton man was an off-duty Stoughton officer

CANTON, MASS. (WHDH) - The driver suspected of hitting and killing an elderly man in Canton on Saturday morning was an off-duty Stoughton police officer, a law enforcement source told 7News.

Police say Ralph Hawkins, 74, was struck by a pickup truck as he stood in his neighbor’s driveway. Police say the truck veered off High Street and took down a tree before hitting Hawkins. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“I was totally stunned,” Herb Hawkins said of his brother’s death.

The driver of the pickup was not injured and stayed at the scene.

The Stoughton Police Department released a statement Monday saying “This is a trying time for all families involved and we express our sincere condolences to Mr. Hawkins’ family.”

Herb Hawkins says he was surprised to learn that the driver was a police officer.

“He took down a tree that was about 15 inches in diameter. The vehicle must have been moving quite fast. That’s just a small street in the town,” Hawkins said.

Family members say Hawkins was a successful businessman, who owned two jet aircraft engine maintenance and consulting companies. They say his writings are in the Library of Congress and that he always used his substantial means to help others.

“He felt it was being a good Christian to try and help everyone,” Hawkins said.

The crash is under investigation. No additional details were immediately available regarding possible charges.

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