MT. VERNON, IL (KTVI) – A former Illinois State Police trooper who caused a horrifying crash that killed two Collinsville, Illinois, sisters is once again trying to get his driver’s license back.
Matt Mitchell appeared at a hearing in Mount Vernon, Wednesday morning in his fourth attempt to get his suspended Illinois license re-issued.
Mitchell said nothing as he went into the hearing or as he left.
Inside the hearing, Mitchell, 35, read a statement to the family of Jessica and Kelli Uhl who were killed in the horrible day after Thanksgiving crash back in 2007.
Mitchell said he was sorry for the loss of Kelli, 13, and Jessica, 18, and that he takes full responsibility for his actions.
Mitchell, who was then an Illinois State Police trooper, was driving 126 miles per hour responding to another crash scene when he lost control of his cruiser on Interstate 64 near the Scott Air Force Base exit.
His cruiser crossed the center median and slammed into the Uhl sisters’ car.
They both died at the scene.
A couple in another car was hurt.
Mitchell was on his cell phone and on the computer in his cruiser right before the wreck.
Mitchell’s attorney, Israel Slone, asked for either full reinstatement of his driving privileges or at least a restricted permit, which would allow Mitchell to drive his 11-year-old daughter to and from school.
Mitchell is now back in Carlyle after living in Texas.
“I think he deserves a chance. He needs to be able to provide for his family,” said Slone.
Jessica and Kelli’s father Brian Uhl represented the Uhl family at the hearing.
He read two statements, saying the family opposes Mitchell getting his license back because they don’t think he has taken full responsibility.
“I think he’s sorry in the sense because of the disruption it’s caused to his life,” said Uhl.
Mitchell’s license was suspended as part of a 2010 plea bargain.
Mitchell told the secretary of state hearing officer in the hearing, which lasted just over half an hour, that he can be a safe and responsible driver.
Brian Uhl isn’t so sure and says he hasn’t yet forgiven Mitchell, “I think of the girls every day. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of them and or I speak out loud to them.”
He added, “'But the pain never goes away.”
The hearing officer at Mitchell’s last hearing actually recommended that Mitchell get his driver’s license back, but Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White overruled that recommendation.
A ruling in this latest hearing could take up to 90 days.
The Uhl sisters’ mother, Kim Schlau, was in Nebraska Wednesday speaking to police about driving safety.