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Drunken Driver Gets 10-Year Term In Death

A man who killed a 17-year-old boy in a drunken driving accident could spend up to 10 years in prison, a judge ordered Monday.

Judge Craig Kosonen sentenced Earl Crabtree, 61, of Wallace, to 10 years for vehicular manslaughter. The judge ordered that Crabtree not be eligible for parole until he has spent five years behind bars.

In June 1995, Crabtree was driving drunk on Interstate 90 on the wrong side of the highway when his car collided with Ryan Lunen’s vehicle.

The teenager died at the scene.

Although Crabtree had no prior drunken driving citations, witnesses testified that he had a history of hanging out in local bars and then driving home.

The sentencing hearing Monday lasted more than three hours as five of Lunen’s family members told the judge about how the teen’s death has changed their lives.

“It’s a slow healing process,” said Dan McGee, Shoshone County prosecutor. “They were relieved to have at least some sense of finality today.”

, DataTimes