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.
Serving the areas of Alton, Godfrey, East Alton, Wood River, Roxana, Edwardsville, Jerseyville, Brighton, Bethalto, Grafton, Granite City, Hartford, Highland, Troy, Fairview Heights, Belleville and the surrounding cities.