CHINA — The sight of a Maine State trooper in her kitchen late Sunday was the first that Elaine LaBreck knew anything was wrong.

The trooper was there to tell her that her son, Seth LaBreck, 35, was dead.

He died when the borrowed pickup he was driving veered off Route 32, slammed into a utility pole and overturned, coming to rest on its roof. Both he and his passenger, Jennifer Hood, 38, of Winslow, died at the scene. State police say both speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Not many hours before, Elaine LaBreck had been at the Windsor Fair with her son and Hood, and the couple’s son and daughter. But the ankle she had sprained the week before was bothering her, so she went home early to get off her feet.

On Thursday, LaBreck said she had just gone to bed around 11 p.m. Sunday, when she heard banging on the door. When she saw Samantha, her boyfriend’s daughter, had gone to answer it, she returned to her bedroom. But Samantha followed her and told her the police needed to speak with her.

“I thought, ‘What’d he hit? What’d he do now?'” she said Thursday, sitting at the kitchen table in her home in China while her grandchildren played in the kitchen and living room.

Her home is about 8 miles from the Windsor Fairgrounds, and about 3 miles from the scene of the fatal crash.

Shortly after she arrived home from the fair on Sunday, her son and Hood showed up, and Seth LaBreck asked if she would watch the kids for about an hour so they could go back to the fair. That was about 8:30 p.m.

“He said he would be back in an hour, and they never showed up,” LaBreck said.

She said she could tell they both had been drinking.

“They both had a buzz,” she said. “He likes his drinks.”

Mostly, she said, he didn’t have his children with him when he was driving. He would see them when he went to see Hood or when his son was with his mother.

She said she wasn’t too worried because she knew they would spend the night in the camper out back and the kids would stay in the house.

Seth LaBreck was born in Waterville, and grew up there and lived in Massachusetts for several years. He went to Winslow High School. He had a sister, Jessica, and an older half-brother Nicholas.

As an adult, he had worked in a variety of jobs, doing flooring and roofing and handyman work. He worked for a while on a boat in Boothbay Harbor.

He liked to fish — winter or summer — and he liked to cook, Elaine LaBreck said. He also liked to spend time outside and camping.

Most recently, he had been working at a dairy farm in Troy and living in Freedom.

Melissa Owens, who was visiting LaBreck Thursday, said he had been working there for about two months. The owner, a friend of hers, gave him a job.

“He loved it. He went to work every day,” Owens said. “It was good, but he smelled like farm.”

That’s probably about when he started talking to Hood again, Elaine LaBreck and Owens said. Seth LaBreck and Hood had been together for about seven years before they broke up.

He had lived with Owens for about 14 months, and during that time helped her raise her children.

“He was extremely giving, he would help anyone out,” Owens said. “Even if it was his last five bucks. He would do without.”

Seth LaBreck also recently got his driver’s license back. Neither Elaine LaBreck nor Owens could recall why he lost his license about a decade ago.

The two children have been staying with LaBreck since Sunday, and she said she’s hoping to become their guardian. She doesn’t work, she said, adding that she’s on disability after having colon cancer. She’s been cancer-free for 11 years. Arrangements are up in the air.

Friends have been stopping by to visit, dropping off meals and supplies for the kids, including a high chair and diapers.

“He touched a lot of hearts out there,” Elaine LaBreck said.

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