Some of those who knew Derek and Stephanie Trudeau, who were killed Saturday in a car accident in Litchfield, recalled them Tuesday as kind people and devoted parents.

Stephanie Trudeau Photo courtesy of Marc Miville

Police say a Lincoln sport utility vehicle driven by Shawn Metayer, 60, of Litchfield, crossed the centerline of Hallowell Road shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday and struck a pickup truck driven by Derek Trudeau, killing him and Stephanie Trudeau on impact.

Police said speed and alcohol are believed to have been factors.

The Trudeaus, of Litchfield, were on their way to pick up their daughter, Caitlyn, 9, who was at a friend’s house, when their vehicle was struck, according to police.

Marc Miville, a friend of Stephanie Trudeau, said he thought it was a “nightmare” when he learned of her death.

“I got a call from her sister in the middle of the night,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it until I saw the first newspaper article.”

Stephanie Trudeau was a dedicated mother, Miville said, who put her daughter “first and foremost” and had the ability to “make you smile.”

Derek Trudeau with his grandson, Leo.

Caleb Trudeau, Derek Trudeau’s son, said his father was an unwavering optimist who was eager to help others, especially his children.

“(He was willing) to help anyone no matter what,” Caleb Trudeau said. “He was a good, kind man. He taught me the knowledge of a lifetime in the past year.”

Jared Trudeau, Caleb’s twin brother, said Derek Trudeau did everything with purpose, and never gave up on tasks or people.

“He believed whatever you put your mind toward was achievable,” Jared Trudeau said. “He saw (the) light in even the darkest people.”

The Trudeau’s obituary described Derek Trudeau, who worked at Bath Iron Works, as “a devoted husband and father who liked to fish and tend to his garden,” and Stephanie Trudeau as “a young mother who would do anything for her kids and family.”

Chelsea Crochere, who identified herself as a relative of Stephanie Trudeau, has started a A GoFundMe page to help with her funeral expenses. The initial goal of $6,000 was reached quickly, after which the goal was increased to $8,000. By about 5 p.m. Tuesday, 224 donors had contributed $10,520. The campaign page said all unused money will go to the couple’s daughter.

Miville said Caitlyn has been staying with an aunt since the accident.

Metayer is in fair condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to hospital spokesperson Caroline Cornish.

Police said charges against Metayer are pending.

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