Akron Woman Sentenced for Driving Under the Influence of Methamphetamine and Causing Multi-Vehicle Crash That Killed Another Driver in Clarence

Modified: June 10, 2022 3:17pm


Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 39-year-old Jessica A. Novak of Akron was sentenced this morning before State Supreme Court Justice Paul B. Wojtaszek to an indeterminate sentence of 3 to 9 years in prison.

On January 19, 2021, at approximately 12:50 p.m., the defendant was driving at a high-rate of speed, while under the influence of methamphetamine, on Main Street in the Town of Clarence when her vehicle crossed into a turning lane and crashed into another vehicle that was making a left turn onto Goodrich Road. The driver of that vehicle, 65-year-old Jeanette Helms of Clarence, was fatally injured and died at the scene. The defendant was taken to ECMC with various injuries.

The defendant’s reckless actions caused a chain reaction collision involving two additional vehicles. The drivers of those vehicles suffered minor injuries.

Novak pleaded guilty to one count of Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Class “C” felony), the highest sustainable charge, on February 2, 2022.

DA Flynn commends the Erie County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation.  

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christopher M. McCarthy of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau.