Blood test shows driver who hit Whitehouse ISD vehicle was not d - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Blood test shows driver who hit Whitehouse ISD vehicle was not drunk

Joan Marie Novak (Source: Wharton County Jail) Joan Marie Novak (Source: Wharton County Jail)

A blood test has come back for Joan Marie Novak, the driver of a truck who hit a car full of Whitehouse Independent School District students and a teacher near Wharton County in April. Wharton District Attorney Ross Kurtz said that blood test showed no alcohol in Novak’s system. Officials are still waiting on drug tests.

Officials said Novak was in violation of her bond when she drove her truck the wrong way on a highway and hit the Whitehouse vehicle. As part of her 2012 bond for a DWI arrest she was required to have a breathalyzer type device on her car, which would not allow her to drive drunk. The truck she was driving did not have that device installed at the time of the crash.

Novak died from injuries sustained in that crash a few days later. Prior to her death Ross said his office was prosecuting Novak for the 2012 offense because it is believed that she had a prior DWI conviction from approximately 13 years ago. Kurtz also said that Novak was prosecuted in 2008 in Wharton County for DWI; that case was pleaded instead to deadly conduct.

Officials said Novak did consent to a blood test while at the hospital the night of the wreck. To this point the incident had been investigated as a DWI.

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