Plea deal talks continue in fatal crash case

Sarah Loos, pictured here in court in 2019, will be sentenced on Jan. 25 on two counts of gross negligent operation with death resulting. In June 2018, Loos crashed her car into a vehicle on Route 30, killing Robert J. Lind, 32, and his fiance, Mandi M. Gamache, 26.

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BRATTLEBORO — A woman who killed two people in a car crash on Route 30 in Newfane in 2018 will be sentenced on Jan. 25.

According to her plea agreement, Sarah Loos, who will turn 30 six days after her sentencing, will spend at least four years and up to 12 years in prison on two counts of gross negligent operation with death resulting.

“On June 8, 2018, I was operating a 2012 grey Toyota Rav4 on a public highway known as Route 30 the town of Newfane, Vermont,” Loos stated in the plea agreement. “As I approached the intersection of Route 30 and Sears Road, driving in a northerly direction, I crossed the double yellow line and collided with a 1999 Subaru Legacy driving the opposite direction, southbound. ... The ensuing collision killed the driver of the Subaru, Robert Lind, and his passenger Mandi Gamache. Prior to operating the car I used a drug containing Fentanyl, an opiate.”

Lind, 32, was pronounced dead at the scene. His fiancee, Gamache, 26, died two days later at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.

Two counts of driving under the influence with death resulting were dismissed as part of the plea deal.

In letters submitted to the court, Loos’ family members are asking Windham County Judge John Treadwell to consider leniency in his sentence.

Norma Anderson, Loos’ mother, wrote that her daughter was instrumental in raising her two adopted sisters, both of whom struggled with their mental health.

Stanley Ferguson, who is engaged to Loos’ mother, said Loos “is a special young woman, outside the lens of this case.”

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“I have seen Sarah over the last few years move forward in the most productive ways she can,” wrote Ferguson. “She has worked hard, faced a protracted legal process in the midst of a pandemic, and has dealt with these circumstances with a great respect for the court, and the families involved.”

Ferguson wrote that, in early 2020, he contracted COVID-19 and was sick in bed for three weeks.

“Sarah texted or called me every day during that time until I showed improvement. Her texts and calls made me feel far less vulnerable, at a very vulnerable time. Sarah didn’t look in on me because anyone asked her to, she did it because she knew I was alone and sick.”

Lisa Lind, Rob Lind’s mother, told the Reformer she plans to give a full statement during the Jan. 25 hearing.

She believes the sentence agreed to is lenient enough, but she also expressed compassion for Loos’ family.

“I am glad Sarah has the support of her family,” she wrote in an email to the Reformer. “She needs that to not only see her through this tragedy but to see her through all the days ahead. ... I am sorry for the pain Sarah’s family is currently experiencing but I too carry pain ... as does my family ... and it isn’t going away any day soon.”

It is not known at this time if the Gamache family will be presenting a statement at the hearing.

Bob Audette can be contacted at raudette@reformer.com.