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No license for ex-trooper blamed in deadly crash

Published: Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

MOUNT VERNON – Illinois officials have again denied a former state trooper’s request to reinstate his driving privileges, which he lost after causing a 2007 freeway crash that killed two teenage sisters.

Secretary of State Jesse White denied Matt Mitchell’s third bid to get his license back Thursday because he doesn’t think Mitchell has “satisfactorily accepted responsibility for his conduct,” White’s spokesman David Drucker said.

Mitchell can reapply for every three months, and Drucker said he’s already requested another hearing, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.

Authorities say Mitchell was driving more than 120 mph and using his cellphone and computer on Interstate 64 east of St. Louis in November 2007 when his cruiser crossed the median and slammed into Jessica and Kelli Uhl’s car, killing them.

Mitchell later pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and received probation.

At his July hearing, Mitchell promised he would never drive or reside in Illinois again if he got his license back. He insisted he needs to get licensed and employed in Texas, where he now lives.

He also apologized to the victims’ family and said the deadly crash was attributable to the speed at which he was driving, never mentioning his use of a cellphone or computer in the moments leading to the wreck.

The girls’ mother, Kim Schlau, said at the hearing that she doesn’t think Mitchell should be allowed to drive. She said her daughters’ injuries were so severe that authorities weren’t clear who was in the car.

“I know what it is like to be told that your children are dead because of the actions of someone sworn to protect them,” Schlau said.


Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com

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