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Man accused of starting fatal crash had suspended license

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OLD LYME — Court records show a New Jersey truck driver accused of starting a fatal chain-reaction crash that closed Interstate 95 north in Connecticut on Aug. 15 was driving with a suspended license.

The Day newspaper of New London reports 66-year-old Rowan Phillip, of Sparta, was charged with driving while under suspension and reckless endangerment in connection with the accident.

Phillip said he saw traffic completely stopped and attempted to brake but couldn’t stop in time. He hit two vehicles.

Two women, 61-year-old Hilda Thomas of Abingdon, Maryland, and 39-year-old Stacy Lockhart of Selma, Alabama, died in the Old Lyme crash. Nearly a dozen others were injured. An earlier crash closed the highway’s southbound side in the same area.

Police say Philip’s license was suspended Jan. 28. He is free on bail and returns to court Sept. 4.