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WJBD - Local News - Ex Trooper Mitchell Attends Hearing with Hopes of Restoring Driving Privileges

Ex Trooper Mitchell Attends Hearing with Hopes of Restoring Driving Privileges

By Rob Sussman, WJBD News

There was no decision Tuesday morning on if former State Trooper Matt Mitchell will get his driving privileges back.  A Secretary of State Hearing officer has 90 days to make a decision after hearing testimony at Tuesday's hearing in Mt. Vernon.  

This is the second attempt by the former Illinois State trooper to get his driving privileges restored after being found responsible for a 2007 car accident that killed two teenage girls.  Mitchell earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless homicide and two counts of aggravated reckless driving in the death of the two girls in a plea deal that let him off with 30 months probation in 2010. 

Mitchell had worked for the Illinois State Police for six years before the accident that claimed the lives of 18 year old Jessica and 13 year old Kelli Uhl  on Interstate 64 near Fairview Heights.  At the time of the accident Mitchell was talking on his cellphone, checking emails on his computer, and traveling at speeds around 126 miles per hour when he crossed into oncoming traffic, killing the two girls. It was his seventh accident in his six years as an officer.

Kimberly Schlau, the mother of the two girls, made an emotional statement during Tuesday's hearing, as did Madelyn Blair, the sister of the two girls. In a statement after the hearing, Schlau told reporters she hoped Mitchell would never drive again.

"I would really like to see him not drive again." Schlau said, "I know its naive of me to think that will happen, but if he is allowed to drive again I hope he does what he said he would do, and be safe."

Mitchell argued in a statement 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.

Mitchell refused to make a statement to reporters after the hearing.

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