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Bartender Pleads No Contest to Over-serving

By Beacon Staff

KALISPELL – A 31-year-old Woods Bay bartender has pleaded no contest to serving alcohol to an intoxicated co-worker who later caused a crash that killed him and a Montana Highway Patrol trooper.

Nathan Hale entered pleas Wednesday to misdemeanor negligent endangerment, sale of alcoholic beverages during closed hours and providing alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person.

Justice of the Peace David Ortley sentenced Hale to four months in jail. A plea agreement had recommended a 30-day jail term.

Prosecutors say Hale served Travis Vandersloot 10 of the 13 drinks he consumed over 3½ hours before Vandersloot left Pick’s Bowling Center in Bigfork early on March 23. Court records say Vandersloot’s blood alcohol level was 0.18 when his vehicle hit Trooper Travis Haynes’ car. Vandersloot died at the scene and Haynes died several days later.

RELATED: On Fatal Anniversary, A Drinking Culture Laid Bare

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