For all we hear about “distracted driving,” here’s a story in which the teenage girls were obeying the law, and an Illinois State Police trooper was on the phone with his girlfriend and speeding to a call that wasn’t his, with fatal results.
Jessica and Kelli Uhl of Collinsville were 18 and 13, respectively, in 2007 when then-Trooper Matt Mitchell crossed the median of I-64 near O’Fallon and killed them.
Authorities, including State Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) and State Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon), will dedicate the “Jessica and Kelli Uhl Memorial Highway” today (Monday).
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Not only did the wreck lead to new rules regulating the use of personal cell phones and the acceptable speeds for police, but it also led to a law prohibiting people from collecting workers’ compensation – as Mitchell attempted to – when their injuries result from their own felonious acts. Mitchell pleaded guilty to reckless homicide.
The memorial highway designation covers a four-mile section of I-64 in Saint Clair County.