A wrongful death suit was filed against the State of Illinois in the Court
of Claims that seeks damages of $46 million for the death of two sisters.
The Uhl sisters, one 18 and one 13, were driving in a car when it was
hit by an Illinois State Trooper who was traveling more than 100 miles per hour.
In addition, the trooper was talking on his cell phone AND using the patrol
car’s computer to send e-mail when the accident occurred. The trooper,
Matt Mitchell, has since pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and aggravated
Mitchell was responding to a call about a traffic accident when he crashed
into the Uhl sisters. He claimed a vehicle had cut him off, thus causing
the crash, but the car was never found. The $46 million requested by the
Uhl family is for economic and non-economic damages. The accident occurred
on November 23, 2007. In the Court of Claims the attorneys present their
case to a hearing officer, who then makes a recommendation to a panel.
The seven-member panel then makes a final verdict.
Whatever the outcome, there is no denying this was a terrible and tragic
accident. Officers are sworn to protect the public, but sometimes they
put the public in danger when they become too focused on a pursuit.