Listening from a seat in the crowded gallery was Alexis, wearing a white bicycle helmet decorated with a variety of colorful and glittery stickers and messages.
“Part of the front of her skull was removed to allow for her brain to swell,” her mother said. “She must wear a helmet at all times other than sitting in a stationary chair to protect her exposed brain.”
The teen’s siblings have also suffered because of the crash, Collette said.
Her youngest child sleeps in bed with her “because of nightmares of Alexis dying,” her oldest daughter moved out of state because she couldn’t cope with watching her sister struggle, another child “is terrified to ride in a vehicle,” and the last “learned to turn off emotions and not get too close to anyone.
“Tanya Menke laughs at Alexis wearing a helmet and calls her names,” the woman said, adding that the teen driver took even more from her daughter in the crash, including her ability to obtain a driver’s license or to work, play sports, go to an amusement park, ride a bike or go skating.
“Tanya Menke harasses, intimidates and makes fun of Alexis regularly at school. This is not a girl who is remorseful. Tanya Menke has not apologized to either of our families.”
Collette said her family was rebuffed when they made themselves available to Menke to allow her to apologize and again when they tried to help the Menke family following a house fire they suffered.
“We were told to stay away,” she said.
“My hope is that through jail time and other disciplinary action, Tanya Menke, as well as other teens, will realize the seriousness of driving without a license with other lives in their hands to prevent another life from being taken or destroyed.”