No charges are expected to be immediately filed in the death of a local man who was struck by a car on Dugway Road in Moriah.

Joshua D. Novak, 31, of Port Henry was killed instantly when he was hit by a car early Sunday morning in the Deckers Flats section of town.

State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Capt. Robert LaFountain said Monday that investigators are still conducting interviews and following leads in the case.


One of Joshua’s good friends, Charles Holman of Port Henry, said he last saw him Saturday afternoon.

“He was working across the road. We played cards, he left, and I told him to take it easy.

“He meant the world to me and my wife. He was like a brother to me.”

He said Joshua was a good person who will be deeply missed by his family.

“Things aren’t making sense to the family. They don’t have enough information on what happened.”


Holman said Novak and his brother, Justin, had been at Cobble Hill Inn in Elizabethtown Saturday night.

While they were being driven home early Sunday morning, there was apparently a disagreement with the driver, and they were instead dropped off near Lincoln Pond, several miles from Moriah.

The two brothers then took different walking routes home, with Justin later located near Exit 29 of the Adirondack Northway and Joshua found dead at Deckers Flats.

A passing motorist called 911 at 4:15 a.m. Sunday to report a man lying in the road. State Police and Moriah Ambulance Squad members who went to the location found Novak had been hit by a vehicle and was dead.

Essex County Coroner Walter S. Marvin III of Elizabethtown authorized removal of the body to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for an autopsy, which showed cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head. Novak also had back and leg injuries.

Lewis-based State Police and the Troop B Collision Reconstruction Unit were at the accident site until the road was reopened around 11 a.m. Sunday.


Police have questioned a Witherbee resident who admitted striking something — but didn’t think it was a person — while traveling on Deckers Flats during the time frame of the accident.

A car was impounded and towed by police from Wasson Street near Silver Hill Road in Witherbee Sunday afternoon.

Police said they are coordinating with Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague on the case.

LaFountain said it will probably be about two weeks until full information on the case is available.

“Then we’ll release additional details on his condition, including toxicology tests.”

BCI Senior Investigator Patrick Keleher is leading the investigation.

Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava said it’s a horrible experience for the Novak family to have to go through.

“I express my condolences to the family. It’s a terrible tragedy.”

E-mail Lohr McKinstry at:


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