Illinois State Trooper Matt Mitchell pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving. The wreck occurred on November 23, 2007, when prosecutors say Mitchell was driving 126 mph and using his cell phone when his car struck another carrying two teenage sisters. The girls, Jessica Uhl, 18, and Kelli Uhl, 13, died at the scene of the accident after their car was engulfed in flames.
The Illinois State Police has not yet said whether or not Mitchell will lose his job; he was suspended from the force with pay after the accident. According to the Belleville News-Democrat, St. Clair County State’s Attorney Robert Haida has stated that he believes Mitchell will have his license revoked.
With his conviction, Mitchell became the first Illinois officer convicted of reckless homicide for an on-duty wreck. The case has resulted in a variety of procedural changes for State Troopers including implementation of policies that limit speed when responding to calls, require the car’s video camera to be on when emergency lights are in use, and require officers to use hands-free devices with their cell phones.
The law firm of WWF&G has represented numerous victims of wreckless driving incidents. Injuries resulting from accidents are often serious, and our firm provides aggressive representation for those victims of accidents and their families. If you or a loved one has been wrongfully injured in an accident, please call us for a free consultation at 1-800-WWFGLAW.