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Trooper blamed in deadly crash seeks license again

November 7, 2013

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (AP) — The attorney for a former state trooper who lost his driving privileges following a fatal freeway crash in southwestern Illinois said Wednesday that his client is again trying to get behind the wheel.

Matt Mitchell is asking the secretary of state’s office to reinstate driving privileges he lost after pleading guilty to reckless homicide.

Mitchell was driving more than 120 mph and using his cellphone and computer in November 2007 when his car crossed the median on Interstate 64 east of St. Louis and slammed into a car occupied by sisters Jessica Uhl, 18, and Kelli Uhl, 13.

Illinois officials, after a July hearing, rejected Mitchell’s request for full reinstatement. Attorney J. Israel Slone said Mitchell was living in Texas at the time, noting Illinois doesn’t offer driving permits to out-of-state residents.

Slone said Mitchell now lives a mile from his 11-year-old daughter’s school and wants a driving permit so he can take her there.

“I thought the hearing went well,” Slone told the Belleville News-Democrat. “But after the last hearing I don’t want to make any predictions. At the last one the hearing officer recommended him for full reinstatement. But the secretary of state overruled it.”

The girls’ mother, Kim Schlau, couldn’t attend Wednesday’s hearing in Mount Vernon because of an out-of-state speaking engagement. However, during the July hearing, she said it was her wish was that Mitchell would never again be allowed behind the wheel.

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

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