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Days Away From Retirement, Mass. Officer Hit by SUV

A Shrewsbury police officer who was working a detail in front of St. John's High School on Main Street last night was struck by a sport utility vehicle that was leaving the school after an appearance by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Officer Brian Gerardi, a 36-year veteran of the force who is scheduled to retire within a week, was struck by the SUV as the driver attempted to turn out of the school's exit, according to Sgt. Michael Capucci.

Officer Gerardi suffered a serious laceration to his head and was taken by ambulance to UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus in Worcester.

The scene was eerily frozen in place an hour after the 8:22 p.m. accident, with the SUV jutting into Main Street and Officer Gerardi's fluorescent jacket singlet lying in the middle of the street.

A distraught woman stood to the side of the accident, quietly answering a police officer's questions.

Sgt. Capucci said that accident reconstruction teams from the Shrewsbury and state police were on the scene, working on the cause of the crash. He said he could not release the identity of the driver last night.