Driver Indicted for Crash That Killed His Passenger on Buffalo's East Side

Modified: November 24, 2020 10:13am

Latest News

Redirecting to our new, updated website ...

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 28-year-old Tremayne D. Brooks of Buffalo has been arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller on an indictment charging him with two counts of Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree, Class “C” felonies, two counts of Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Class “D” felonies, and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a Class “C” felony.

It is alleged that on August 3, 2019, at approximately 6:00 a.m., the defendant was driving, under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, on Memorial Drive in the City of Buffalo when he lost control of the SUV and hit a tree. The crash caused the vehicle to flip over. His passenger, 42-year-old Toni Abernathy, was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators allegedly found an illegal gun inside the vehicle.

Brooks allegedly attempted to run away from the crash, but was arrested nearby and taken to ECMC. He spent nearly a month in the hospital to be treated for his injuries.

Brooks is scheduled to return on Thursday, October 27, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. for a pre-trial hearing. Judge Boller set bail at $25,000 cash/bond or $250,000 property.

If convicted on all charges, Brooks faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department Accident Investigation Unit and Officer Lauren McDermott for their work in the investigation. DA Flynn also commends the Good Samaritan who stopped at the scene of the crash and attempted to help the victim. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christopher M. McCarthy of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.