Milwaukee Officer James Nowak dies after off-duty crash

Milwaukee Police Officer James Nowak died Wednesday, Dec. 6 after an off-duty crash in Oak Creek

The crash happened on Pennsylvania Avenue just south of College Avenue Sunday Night, Dec. 3. Oak Creek police said the 30-year-old collided with a semi-trailer as it made a U-turn ahead of him. 

"He was a loving, giving, caring guy. He would give his shirt off his back for anybody. He was a great police officer," said Dean Bartel, a relative. 

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At the crash site, a memorial including flowers and a flag have gone up. 

FOX6 News has learned through Nowak's family that he was an organ donor. His wife, Julia, said loved ones participated in an "honor walk" tribute for organ donors.

James Nowak; Oak Creek crash near Pennsylvania and College

The Milwaukee Police Department posted a statement on Nowak's death on its Facebook page Thursday.

"The Milwaukee Police Department mourns the loss of Officer James Nowak who honorably served the Milwaukee community and our department for over 12 years. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and our members who are immensely suffering from this tragedy," the statement read.

Less than a week ago, Officer Nowak prayed at a check presentation ceremony. It was to help officers travel to Washington, D.C. for an event to pay tribute to his former partner, Peter Jerving, who died in the line of duty.

A Go Fund Me for the officer said Nowak has been a Milwaukee police officer for about a decade.