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BRATTLEBORO — A woman who caused a 2018 crash on Route 30 that killed two people will spend the next 13 months in jail.

In addition to her jail time, Sarah Loos, who turns 30 on Jan. 30, will spend 12 years on probation and will not be allowed to drive a vehicle during that period. She must also fulfill 500 hours of community service. The state dismissed two charges of driving under the influence of drugs as part of the plea agreement.

During a sentencing hearing on Tuesday for two counts of gross negligent operation resulting in death, the court took statements from the mother and aunt of Rob “RJ” Lind, 32, who died on the scene of the crash on June 8, 2018. His fiancee, Mandi Gamache, 26, died of injuries two days later at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.

“Unfortunately, I’ve learned sometimes we never get over our losses,” said Lisa Lind, Rob’s mother, in an audio recording played to the court. “This pain inside will never heal. ... It will live as long as I do.”

Lind called her son “the light in my world” and her best friend.

“His pride, love and enthusiasm led me through some very dark times,” she said. “He made me want to laugh more, live better and love deeper.”

But her son made everyone feel that way, she said, always remembering a name, a face, a conversation, and treating them all as friends.

“And he would flash a smile. Not just any smile, but one that would attach itself to your heart and keep you wanting more conversation, more laughter, more kindness, connection. Rob had the ability to make others feel important, valued. ... RJ loved people, loved life, from the depths of his soul. Our world is darker without his life.”

Lind said Loos had closed the book on her son’s life and there would be no more taco dinners or karaoke, no dancing, no summer wedding and no grandchildren because of her decision to drive that day.

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“I have tried to hate you. I simply can’t. I’ve decided within myself to have mercy on you, to learn to forgive ... Sarah, I hope this will be the catalyst that sets you on a better path. I wish you peace as you move forward. I’m sure the nightmares are horrible. ... Sarah, I hope you will be well and spread goodness throughout the rest of your life.”

Lind was described by his aunt, Brenda Peterson, as the kind of person who would give the shirt off his back, even in a blizzard.

“Giving was his middle name,” read Christopher Lukasik, victim advocate, from a letter submitted by Peterson.

“I personally am having a hard time with forgiveness, but I am working on it,” said Peterson in the letter read by Lukasik. “That’s what RJ would want me to do.”

Lukasik also said he had talked to Mandi’s grandmother, who said she is having “an incredibly hard time” dealing with her loss. He also told the court that Gamache’s father was not supportive of the plea agreement.

Loos declined the opportunity to speak to the court, but her attorney, Matthew Hart, said his client has never taken her actions lightly and understands how it has devastated those who loved Lind and Gamache, as well as her own family.

“She has never, ever tried to diminish the events of that day and how it has affected everyone,” said Hart.

Judge Elizabeth Mann said “had their paths collided in a different way,” Loos, Lind and Gamache might have been kindred spirits.

“From the letters that were submitted on her behalf,” said Mann, “it is clear that she, like the victims here, was someone who was very giving of herself and always looking out for those around her. ... Unfortunately, we now have two fewer of those individuals to bring that light into the world. What we can hope for is that Ms. Loos ... will accept the responsibility of her actions and will carry that light and that positive spirit forward, not only on her behalf, but on behalf of Mandi Gamache and on behalf of Robert Lind.”

Bob Audette can be contacted at