Mourning Mother urges officers to slow down


Reporter - Kathryn DiGisi

The day after Thanksgiving 2007, Kim Schlau's two teenage daughters were killed in a car crash caused by an illinois state trooper traveling on I-64 at 127 miles an hour.

Six years later, Schlau traveled the state, speaking to police officers about their responsibility on the make sure no mother has to go through what she has.

In front of an audience of officers, Kim Schlau showed pictures of her daughters, Jessica and Kelli.

She says behind every picture, there's a memory.

"This is literally the last picture we have of Jess and Kelli. it was taken just a few hours before they were killed."

The girls were driving on I-64 when an Illinois state trooper lost control, crossed the median and hit them at 127 miles an hour.

"this is what's left of Jessica's car. That's the backseat, there, and that's the seat where Kelli was."

The trooper had also been emailing, and talking on his phone while driving.

Schlau remembers hearing that knock on the door.

"I remember thinking, I don't want to open this door, because if I open this door, this all becomes real."

When she opened it, troopers, a coroner, and a chaplain greeted her. She knew she wouldn't see her girls again.

"In 2008 ISP banned all troopers from using handheld electronic devices- Bluetooth only. Now they also require that troopers notify a supervisor if they plan on going more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit."

Now, Schlau lets Jessica and Kelli's legacy live by sharing her story.

"Of all the words in the English language, the only one I can use to describe this feeling is 'it sucks,' every day. It is so hard, every day."

Matt Mitchell was convicted of four felonies, two of which were negligent homicide.

He was sentenced to 30 months probation and his license was suspended; he now lives in Texas and is never allowed to work in law enforcement again.