Posted On: May 7, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

Illinois Car Accident Lawsuit: Uhl Family Seeks $46 Million for Wrongful Death of Daughters From Police Pursuit

The family of 18-year-old Jessica Uhl and her 15-year-old sister Kelli, are seeking $46 million in wrongful death recovery from the state of Illinois and former Illinois State Trooper Matt Mitchell. The Collinsville sisters were killed on November 23, 2007 during a head-on crash with Mitchell.

The deadly Illinois car accident occurred on Interstate 64 as the former state trooper was headed to another traffic crash site. Prosecutors have said that Mitchell was distracted when he struck the girls’ auto. They contend that he was using his cell phone, emailing on the computer of the police vehicle, and driving at a speed of 126 mph when the collision happened.

Because the state of Illinois has sovereign immunity from lawsuits, the wrongful death case is going before the Court of Claims rather than a civil jury. The girls parents, Brian Uhl and Kimberly Schlau, filed their Illinois car accident lawsuit in the Court of claims on April 19, just three days after Mitchell pleaded guilty to two counts each of aggravated reckless driving and reckless homicide. His sentence is 30 months probation. As part of his plea agreement, the former cop agreed to never work as a police officer again.

Following the conclusion of his criminal case, Mitchell changed his story. He claims that he did not cause the girls’ wrongful deaths and that he only pleaded guilty because he didn’t think he would receive a fair trial.

There are four claimants seeking recovery from the state and Mitchell: The girls’ parents, stepsister Maddy, and stepbrother Tony. They are claiming loss of love, society, companionship, and affection.

Distracted Driving
Driving while distracted, especially at high speeds, is dangerous not just to the motorist who is preoccupied but to the pedestrians and other vehicles that happen to be around at the time. It doesn’t matter how urgent it is that you get to your destination as soon as possible or that you obtain whatever information you need from the person that you are texting or talking with on the phone. Nothing is more important than safely getting where you need to go and making sure that you aren’t involved in a Chicago, Illinois car accident that could destroy other people’s lives.

Family seeks $46 million for daughters’ deaths, St, Louis Globe-Democrat, May 3, 2010

Uhl Family Wants $46 Million to Settle Lawsuit, Fox2News, May 4, 2010

2 killed in crash identified as sisters,, December 1, 2007

Related Web Resources:
Illinois State Police

Distracted Driving

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