Local News

December 4, 2012

Probation, jail in crash death

Brushton teen sentenced for fatal accident in 2011


Menke had only a learner’s permit and admitted smoking pot that day before losing control of her vehicle about 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of McGowan and Eddy roads in the Town of Brandon.

She was driving the 1999 Volkswagon Beetle on McGowan Road in thick fog but did not slow down as she approached the intersection with Eddy Road. She failed to stop at the stop sign, and the car slid down an embankment and crashed into a tree.

Lyon was killed, and Collette and Menke were taken to Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone first before being transferred to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

Curt Lyon said he doesn’t refer to the car crash as an accident because “this was not an accident; if not for the felonious negligence of Ms. Menke, Brooke would be with us today.

“The behavior and lack of remorse by Ms. Menke is appalling. She hasn’t even said, ‘I’m sorry.’ Her stares, her grins, the hate mail I received last Christmas Eve and the ongoing effort to coax our community to choose sides … adds to our endless grief.

“The lack of remorse coupled with the obvious fact that she shouldn’t have been driving in the first place are two factors weighing heavily on our minds,” Lyon said, adding that spending time in jail might give Menke “some sense of responsibility for Brooke’s death.”


Stacie Collette gave the second victims’ impact statement.

“About a year ago, my family was changed forever, and my daughter, Alexis was gone,” she said. “In place of her lay the lifeless little body just barely clinging to life as a result of Tanya Menke driving under the influence of drugs.”

She described the measures physicians used to help her daughter, including the intravenous drugs, operations and countless other treatments.

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