Former trooper Mitchell will ask again for return of driver's license

News-DemocratJuly 22, 2013 

Matt Mitchell at a court hearing in April 2010 regarding the fatal accident.

ZIA NIZAMI/BND

Former Illinois State Police Trooper Matt Mitchell will try again Tuesday to get his driver's license back.

Mitchell, who crashed his police cruiser at a high rate of speed in 2007, killing a pair of sisters and injuring a pregnant woman, has been granted a license reinstatement hearing. It will take place at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at 218 S. 12th St. in Mount Vernon, Illinois Secretary of State's Office spokesman Dave Druker said.

David Craig, a spokesman for the family of the sisters killed in the crash, 18-year-old driver Jessica Uhl and her 13-year-old passenger, Kelli, said their mother, Kim Schlau, and their father, Brian Uhl, plan to attend the hearing and testify.

Mitchell was denied an April bid to get his license back after a hearing officer turned down his request. But his attorney said at the time that the former officer planned to keep trying to get his license back so he could get a job to provide for his family.

Mitchell lost his license -- and his job with the State Police -- following the high-speed car crash in heavy traffic the day after Thanksgiving six years ago.

Mitchell was found to be driving 126 mph in his police cruiser on Interstate 64 near O'Fallon while talking on his cell phone and typing on his in-car computer. He lost control of the vehicle and struck Jessica Uhl's Mazda nearly head-on.

The crash also injured the occupants of another car, Kelly Marler and his 9-months pregnant wife Christine, of Fayetteville.

Druker said a person can seek another hearing three months after being turned down. There is no limit to the number of times a person can appeal to get his or her license back.

Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at swuerz@bnd.com or call 239-2626.

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