BRATTLEBORO — A woman accused of causing a crash that killed two people on Route 30 in Newfane more than three years ago has accepted a plea agreement with the state.
During a status update on Friday afternoon, an attorney for Sarah Loos, now 29, asked the court to schedule her sentencing in December, having agreed with the state that she should go to jail that same day.
“We have an agreement,” said Windham County Deputy State’s Attorney Steven Brown, and though he believed waiting until December was “a long way away,” he deferred to the court.
Rob Lind, 32, and his fiance, Mandi Marie Gamache, 26, both of Brattleboro, were traveling south on Route 30 on June 8, 2018 when, according to court documents, Loos crossed the centerline as she was traveling north, causing a head-on collision.
Lind was pronounced dead on the scene of the crash, which occurred at 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Sears Road, and Gamache, who was airlifted to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., died two days later.
Loos was charged with two counts of operating a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner resulting in death, with sentences of up to 15 years on each of the counts.
In January 2020, Loos was charged with two additional counts of driving under the influence of drugs resulting in a fatality when a toxicology report was presented to the court that stated Loos’ driving behavior was consistent with “on the nod” behavior,” and she had marijuana, fentanyl and its metabolite, norfentanyl, in her blood at the time of the crash. Those counts also carry a sentence of up to 15 years each.
Lisa Lind, Rob’s mother, told the Reformer that Brown and Chris Lukasik, a victim’s advocate in the State’s Attorney’s Office, have been good to work with and have kept the family abreast of all the court proceedings. However, Lind said she was disappointed by the justice system in Vermont.
“The system lacks empathy for victims,” she said. “It’s focused more on the rights of defendants. I’m hoping one day it will change.”
And even though, “Some punishment is always better than none, as a ‘mama bear,’ nothing is ever going to heal the broken heart a missing ‘cub.’ leaves.”
Lind said she’d have more to say during the sentencing hearing.
During Friday’s hearing, Judge John Treadwell noted that considering the “congestion that is present in the Windham Criminal Division calendar” due to the pandemic, he did not believe waiting until December for sentencing was “not entirely unreasonable.”
Hart told the court the delay would give Loos time for some dental work and to “set some things in order.”
The state and the defense are expected to return to court next week with a signed plea deal.
During sentencing, said Brown, the court can expect to receive statements from family members of Lind and Gamache.