Friends, family, and colleagues are offering tributes to Milwaukee Police Officer James Nowak, and they have rallied around his wife, Julia, in the wake of a tragic car accident in Oak Creek.
You can help Officer Nowak’s family by contributing to a GoFundMe page here.
Nowak was described as “a great guy. Always brought laughter and fun and was kind!” by one donor on the GoFundMe page. Another described the MPD officer as “funny and outgoing.”
Oak Creek police identified the driver as James J. Nowak, and said he is in “grave condition” in the intensive care unit at Froedtert Hospital. “He is not expected to survive,” the release says.
Nowak, who was the partner of slain Milwaukee Police Officer Peter Jerving, sustained fatal injuries in a crash with a semi-truck in Oak Creek on Sunday, December 3, 2023, according to posts from loved ones and the GoFundMe page.
James Nowak was Officer Jerving’s partner for four years, and his wife previously told CBS58 that Nowak and Jerving were like family. In February 2023, Jerving was shot to death in a foot chase with a robbery suspect.
Jordyn Smokovich, who organized the GoFundMe page, wrote:
“As many of us know him as the happiest-go-lucky guy, James ‘Jimmy’ Nowak, was involved in a fatal car accident on the evening of December 3rd 2023. Jimmy was a loving husband, son, brother, brother in-law, grandson, nephew, and uncle. Jimmy served as a police officer for the Milwaukee Police Department for almost 10 years.
Jimmy had many friends and was always the life of the party. He could put a smile on anyone’s face at any given time. Jimmy truly had the biggest heart and laugh. Jimmy is one soul everyone will deeply miss.
Julia, Jimmy’s wife, would never ask anyone for help but has always been the most giving person. Julia has helped countless family, friends, and strangers. Julia has never asked for anything in return or expected it.
Any donations would help Julia and family in this tragic time with accumulating medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of income.”
Tributes flowed on social media for James Nowak.
“There are no words to describe the utter loss this world has suffered and the unimaginable pain Julia will be in,” a friend wrote. “I hope you and Pete are catching up and making sure your family…and Julia are ok here. If you can, please give to this GoFundMe and Julia has always been the most giving person in the history of the world without a mean bone in body.”
In a press release, Oak Creek police wrote that they responded to a “report of a car versus semi-truck crash in the 6600 block of S. Pennsylvania Ave” on Dec. 3, 2023, at 10:31 p.m.
Upon arrival, they located a 30-year-old male driver in the car who sustained what were described at that time as serious, life-threatening injuries. That driver was Jimmy Nowak.
He was extricated from the vehicle and transported to Froedtert Hospital. He was the only occupant in the car.
The driver and passenger of the semi-truck were not injured, remained on scene and cooperated with investigators.
Oak Creek police wrote that the circumstances surrounding the crash are under investigation and anyone who witnessed it is urged to contact Detective Ben Lockwood at 414-766-7627.
“Rest in heaven Officer James Nowak. You were indeed one of the good ones,” another friend wrote on Facebook, with a broken heart symbol.
“I cannot even believe this. Julia, you are the kindest person. Jimmy seemed so funny and outgoing. So much love coming your way — I am so sorry,” wrote another.