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NStar driver is cited in fatality

Authorities cited yesterday the driver of an NStar truck that struck and killed a 13-year-old girl in Walpole this week with negligent motor vehicle homicide.

Kenneth Phillips, 59, of Norfolk was also cited with failure to signal and failure to use care in turning, said David Traub, spokesman for the Norfolk district attorney's office. Traub also said Phillips was not wearing the corrective lenses his license requires him to wear, which led to a charge of unlicensed operation.

Traub and Walpole Deputy Police Chief Scott Bushway declined to comment on any findings in the investigation. Both said it was unclear whether Phillips would contest the citations in Wrentham District Court. If he does not, the citations will become criminal charges. If convicted, Phillips could face up to 2 1/2 years in prison.

The NStar truck was turning into a company entrance off Main Street Monday when it struck Justine Trainor, a seventh-grader at Eleanor N. Johnson Middle School, knocking her off her bicycle just 400 feet from her home. The truck dragged her onto the road, and she died about an hour later at Caritas Norwood Hospital.

Phillips and his lawyer, Michael Joyce, did not return calls for comment yesterday.

Caroline Allen, spokeswoman for NStar, said that Phillips has been an employee for 27 years and that company records show he has a valid commercial driver's license.

"This is a tragedy for everyone involved and, as a father and citizen, he is feeling a tremendous sense of pain and sorrow right now because of this accident," Allen said in a statement.

Trainor's friends and family set up a makeshift memorial with flowers, candles, and photos where she was killed. They remembered her positive energy and love of dancing and said she had been planning a dance routine for her middle school's upcoming talent show. Her sister, Sacha Trainor, described her as an energetic girl who always smiled.

Trainor's parent's could not be reached for comment.

Superintendent Lincoln Lynch said yesterday that school officials have not decided whether a memorial service will be planned. He said that grief counselors have been available to students.

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