A police community support officer arrived at the scene of a fatal crash to discover the 10-year-old victim was her nephew.
PCSO Lisa Crocker, 39, was on duty when she was called to the collision involving her young nephew Samuel Crocker in Crediton, Devon.
The 'generous and kind' schoolboy was knocked down as he walked into the town centre to visit a friend on Saturday afternoon.
He was taken to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in Exeter but later died from his injuries.
Chief Inspector Matt Lawler of Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Clearly this is an absolute tragedy for the entire family.
"No-one in the force knew the connection until Lisa arrived at the scene and recognised Samuel.
"There has been a great deal of support locally for Lisa and many local people have been asking if she was personally connected to the incident.
"In order to allow her to focus on supporting her family, Lisa has asked us to confirm her involvement and thereby end the speculation.
"While she has been inundated with messages, Lisa would like everyone to focus on Samuel, not on her connection to the events of last Saturday."
The incident at around 1.30pm on Saturday took place in Crediton in Devon on a residential road called Threshers.
Samuel was taken by helicopter to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, but he later died from his injuries.
In a statement Samuel's family said: "On Saturday afternoon our life was turned upside down when our darling Samuel was knocked down while on his way to visit his friend. Later that night the bright light that was Samuel was extinguished.
"We all miss our little 'mole' so much and can't begin to imagine how we move on from the devastating situation we are in now.
"Someone so small has left a massive hole that can never be filled, but he will always be remembered for his cheeky, fun-loving nature and we are grateful to have had him in our lives, albeit for such a short time."
Headteacher Gary Read said: "Samuel was a truly decent young boy - honest, attentive, generous, loyal and kind. To be taken from his family and friends in this way feels incomprehensible."
Cameron Trivett, 24, of Crediton, appeared at Exeter Magistrates charged with causing the death by careless driving and failing to stop after a collision. He was bailed to appear at Exeter Crown Court on March 27.