BRUSHTON - Malone-based state police charged Tanya A. Menke, 16, of Brushton with felony counts of criminally negligent homicide and second-degree vehicular assault Monday following an investigation into a Dec. 7 accident that claimed the life of one of her passengers and left a second passenger with serious injuries.
Menke was also charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop at a stop sign, failure to reduce speed - special hazards, operating a motor vehicle with a front seat passenger - other than a supervising driver, and operating a motor vehicle with a learners permit without every member of the vehicle restrained by a safety belt.
Troopers said the arrest was the result of an investigation into the Dec. 7, 2011 one-vehicle collision on the town of Bangor. The preliminary investigation established that at approximately 3:33 p.m. that day Menke was operating a 1999 Volkswagen Beetle westbound on the McGowan Road.
She failed to stop for a stop sign while traveling in dense fog, attempted to steer the vehicle south onto County Route 15 and subsequently slid across the road striking a tree.
As a result of the accident, Brooke Lyon, 16, of Moira died at the scene, and Alexis Collette, 17, of Brushton suffered a severe head injury and is currently recovering at her home. Ms. Lyon was in the front passenger seat, and Ms. Collette was in the rear seat of Menkes vehicle at the time of the accident.
The investigation was conducted by the New York State Police in Malone as well as the Troop B Collision Reconstruction Unit.
Menke was arraigned in the town of Bangor Court before Town Justice Frederick Boardway and released under the supervision of the Franklin County Probation Department. Menke is scheduled to return to the town of Brandon Court at 7 p.m. May 15to answer the felony charges.