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Attorneys to debate sentencing in Lozeau case

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A Ronan man admitted to causing a crash that killed his passenger. Kenneth Lozeau Jr., 27, pleaded guilty, at District Court in Polson, on March 4, to felony vehicular homicide while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

According to court records, on May 23, emergency personnel responded to a rollover involving one vehicle on U.S. Highway 35 near Fulkerson Lane. At the scene, a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper found a 1999 Chevy Silverado on the east side of the highway, facing east, but on its top. There was extensive damage to the entire Silverado. 

Lozeau was treated by an ambulance crew for transport to the hospital. A female passenger, later identified as Ruby Dae Saluskin, 23, died at the scene of blunt force trauma.

An investigation showed that Lozeau and Saluskin had been drinking earlier in the day. The two had also been in another wreck earlier that day with the same vehicle on Hellroaring Road where they had gotten stuck. An area resident told investigators that he had helped the two free the vehicle and that Lozeau had taken over as the driver. 

The investigation also showed that Lozeau was traveling south when he failed to negotiate the curve at Fulkerson corner and the Silverado rolled multiple times before coming to rest on its top.

District Judge Robert Whelan, who presided over the case via Zoom, set sentencing for April 15. Lake County Attorney Steve Eschenbacher said he will argue for a 20-year prison sentence with 10 years suspended, while the defense will argue for a 20-year term with 15 years suspended.

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