About one month after a serious car collision with a fire truck on Pacific Coast Highway, a teenage girl who suffered serious brain injuries was recovering after being recently released from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Olivia Menke, 18, was traveling on PCH in a Toyota Prius with three family members when the car collided with a Los Angeles County Fire Department truck June 8. The car carrying Menke was severely damaged and required Menke be extracted.
"I didn't really realize I was at the hospital. I thought I was at the beach," Menke recalled.
Menke suffered a traumatic brain injury. Her mother, Erica Menke, said she spent about two weeks in the "critical side of ICU" while at the hospital.
Erica now warns about what she believes are the dangers of PCH.
"Insurance has made it 100 percent Olivia's fault. Personally, I blame the safety of PCH because it's like pulling out onto the 405 (Freeway)," Erica said.
Menke has scars from the car crash and glass stuck in her arms, but said she feels "fine for the most part."
Menke said she isn't focused on finger pointing.
"They could blame us and we could blame them easily, but that's not going to get us anywhere," she said. "I don't have any anger, I just wish I hadn't missed graduation."
Although Menke missed her graduation at Providence High School in Burbank, she will receive another chance to participate in August when some of her fellow, former high school seniors join her for a graduation ceremony.
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Menke received a full scholarship to Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. and said she plans to attend this fall. Her parents want to wait for doctors to clear Menke before she attends.
Menke is moving forward with her life since the accident.
"It's just made me want to stay determined to fix things that are broken," Menke said.
LACFD said it was pleased to hear about Menke's condition and wished her a full and swift recovery.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Menke with medical expenses.