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Illinois State Trooper Caused Deadly Crash; Wants Workers’ Comp

Posted on Nov 29, 2010
An Illinois State Trooper who caused the death of two teen sisters while on the job is now seeking workers’ compensation for the injuries he sustained in the car accident. The family says that they are disgusted with the man, who lost a wrongful death lawsuit regarding the case earlier this year, while others say that Illinois workers’ comp laws should be changed to stop the man from receiving benefits.

In 2007, Illinois State Trooper Matt Mitchell was sending emails on his mobile device and talking on the phone with his girlfriend while speeding to an emergency in his police cruiser. At over 120 miles per hour he lost control of his car, jumped a median, and slammed into a car containing 18-year-old Kelli Schlau and her sister, 13-year-old Jessica Schlau. Mitchell admitted to distracted driving and reckless driving in criminal court, but denied fault during the following wrongful death trial. The family says he has yet to apologize to them over the loss of their children.

The attorney for Matt Mitchell urged the public to understand that Mitchell’s workers compensation benefits should be looked at separate from the details of the on-the-job car crash and reminded critics that the Illinois workers’ compensation process should be allowed to take place as usual by those who know the policies. However, others say that if Mitchell is allowed workers’ compensation, the workers comp laws should be examined.

Meanwhile, the mother of the girls killed in the deadly car accident is advocating for safer roads and highways across Illinois.

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