CHINA — The sight of a Maine State Police 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, died when the borrowed pickup he was driving veered off Route 32, slammed into a utility pole and overturned. 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 Hood’s son and daughter. But the ankle she sprained the week before was bothering her, so she went home early.

LaBreck said Thursday that she had just gone to bed around 11 p.m. 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 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 China home 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 Sunday, her son and Hood showed up, and Seth LaBreck asked if she would watch Hood’s 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.”

Most of the time, she said, he didn’t have the children with him when he was driving. He would see them when he went to see Hood.

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, attended Winslow High School and lived in Massachusetts for several years. As an adult, he worked a variety of jobs, doing flooring and roofing and handyman work.

He liked to fish, cook, and spend time outside. Most recently, he had been working at a dairy farm in Troy and living in Freedom.

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

LaBreck also recently got his driver’s license back, after losing it about a decade ago.

The two children have been staying with Elaine LaBreck since Sunday, and she said she’s hoping to become their guardian. She doesn’t work, and is on disability after having colon cancer. She’s been cancer-free for 11 years.

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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