John Jenkins, 39, is charged with criminal homicide after Tammy Fox "violently" crashed her car into a tree, police say

Credit: GoFundMe

A Pennsylvania mom of five is dead following a car crash that police say was caused after her boyfriend cut the vehicle’s brake lines for material to make a crack pipe, PEOPLE confirms.

Tammy Fox, 38, of Scranton, died from her injuries after her black Hyundai Sonata “began to accelerate” as she approached then raced through an intersection and “violently struck a tree” on Aug. 22, according to a news release Wednesday from Pennsylvania State Police.

The resulting investigation became a criminal case after a mechanical inspection of the car revealed its brake lines had been severed, police said.

Under questioning, John William Jenkins, 39, who was identified by police as Fox’s boyfriend, “admitted that on the evening prior to the crash he cut the victim’s brake lines while at their residence in an attempt to obtain a metal pipe that could be used to smoke crack cocaine,” according to law enforcement.

John Jenkins
| Credit: Lackawanna County Jail

Authorities arrested Jenkins on a charge of criminal homicide. He currently is being held in the Luzerne County jail, on a hold for Lackawanna County, with no bond listed, jail records confirm.

It’s unknown whether he has entered a plea, and an attorney who might speak on his behalf was not immediately identified. He is scheduled to be in court for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 7, the Lehigh Valley News reports.

According to court documents obtained by the Associated Press, Jenkins claimed to police that Fox was “driving him crazy” because she was looking for a pipe to smoke crack in.

According to the documents, Jenkins said he didn’t want to go to the store so he started “hacking away” underneath Fox’s vehicle.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

“Tammy had the ability to bring light to dark times and gave selflessly to those around her,” according to a GoFundMe page titled “Justice for Tammy” seeking financial assistance for her family. “She will be greatly missed, but will be with us in spirit, joining her mother in Heaven.”

The page’s author, Elle Massetti, added: “Although a confession was made, the fight has just begun.”