• Fomer trooper apologizes for fatal crash that took his license

    by  • August 13, 2014 • Breaking News, News

    MT. VERNON  (AP) — For the first time since the fatal accident in 2007, former Illinois State Police trooper Matt Mitchell has publicly apologized for the crash that killed 18-year-old Jessica Uhl and her 13-year-old sister Kelli.

    Matt Mitchell

    Matt Mitchell

    He was back in the Secretary of State’s office Wednesday trying to get his drivers’ license back.  This is his 5th attempt.

    The hearing started at 10 a.m. but was delayed after hearing room recording devices malfunctioned.  During the first part of the hearing, Mitchell was asked very descriptive questions about the crash and appeared uncomfortable.

    Mitchell says he would like to get his license back so he can take his daughter to school and work. Mitchell has moved back to Illinois from Texas. He now lives in Carlyle and says he has a promise of employment with a Centralia company, but only if he can get his license back. The new job also requires him to be on the road.

    He insists he’s learned his lesson and faces the consequences every day.

    Mitchell, then an Illinois State Police trooper, was doing 126 miles per hour en route to a crash scene when he lost control of his cruiser on I-64 near the Scott Air Force base exit.

    He crossed the center median and collided with the Uhl sisters` car. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.

    Mitchell was on his cell phone and on the computer in his cruiser moments before the wreck. As a part of a 2010 plea bargain, Mitchell`s license was suspended.

    The Uhl sisters mother, Kim Schlau is expected to speak out against Mitchell getting is license back.

    In the last two hearings, the officer recommended that Mitchell get his license back in some capacity. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has overruled those decisions.

    No final decision is expected Wednesday.  That will come within 90 days after this hearing.