A Secretary of State hearing officer has 90-days to decide if a former Illinois State Trooper deserves to get his driving privileges restored.
There was no decision Tuesday morning following a hearing in Mt. Vernon. This is Matt Mitchell’s second attempt to get his driving privileges restored in Illinois after he was found responsible for a November 2007 car accident that killed two teenage girls. Mitchell had worked for the Illinois State Police for six years before the accident that claimed the lives of 18 year old Jessica Uhl and 13 year old Kelli Uhl on Interstate 64 near Fairview Heights. At the time of the accident, Mitchell was talking on his cell phone, checking emails on his computer, and traveling at speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour when he crossed into oncoming traffic, killing the two girls in a head on collison. It was his seventh accident in his six years as a State Police officer.
Kimberly Schlau, the mother of the two girls, made an emotional statement during Tuesday’s hearing. Following the hearing, Schlau told reporters she hoped Mitchell would never drive again: “I know that’s naive to think that, but I would like to see him not drive again. If he is allowed to drive I would hope and pray that he will do what he says he will and be safe.”
Mitchell pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless homicide and two counts of aggravated reckless driving in the death of the two girls. As part of his plea in 2010, he was sentenced to 30 months of probation.
Today, Mitchell told the hearing officer that he is not a “monster” and that he needs to be able to drive in order to care for his 10 year old daughter and to get a job. Mitchell now lives in Texas. He refused to talk to reporters after the hearing.