A former state trooper in Illinois is making headlines after requesting to be compensated for injuries he sustained in accident that resulted in the death of two women.
According to published reports, former Illinois State trooper Matt Mitchell is asking the state to compensate him for injuries from a crash in which he hit and killed two Collinsville sisters while driving in excess of 126 mph and texting on his cell phone.
The accident later led to the conviction and termination of Mitchell, who now requests worker’s compensation for his injuries.
“I wouldn’t have filed the case if I thought it was frivolous or didn’t have merit,” Mitchell’s lawyer Kerri O’Sullivan said in a press conference. “People get hurt at work all the time. It’s our job as lawyers to help people with the difficult and complicated administrative process of worker’s compensation.”
Although the lawsuit may seem ridiculous, three worker’s compensation lawyers say they believe Mitchell could receive compensation for the injuries he received in the Nov. 23, 200 high-speed crash that resulted in the deaths of sisters Kelli and Jessica Uhl.
“This man has no shame. He has no shame when he recanted his plea of guilty. He has no shame when he insisted on the stand that he was not responsible for this crash,” Uhl family lawyer, Thomas Q. Keefe said. “And he has no shame when he files for worker’s compensation benefits.”
Mitchell, who received 30 months’ probation for the incident, was suspended with pay for nearly two years, drawing his $68,000 annual salary, before resigning from the Illinois State Police after pleading guilty to the criminal charges.
Although Mitchell pleaded guilty to causing the accident and was convicted of reckless homicide and reckless driving, he can still receive a worker’s compensation award, three lawyers agreed; stating that the only defense the state may have is whether or not Mitchell was doing his job as a state trooper when the accident occurred.
Earlier reports state that Mitchell was driving 126 mph in busy day-after-Thanksgiving traffic on Interstate 64 while sending and receiving e-mails and talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone moments before the crash. Mitchell crossed over the median and hit the girls’ car head-on. He sustained severe leg injuries.
Mitchell was responding to an accident near Lebanon, but help already was at the scene of the accident where Mitchell was responding, authorities said.