Metro-East News

New Baden man still in critical condition a week after motorcycle accident

Jason Stillwell and his girlfriend of two years, Penny Oeth
Jason Stillwell and his girlfriend of two years, Penny Oeth Provided by Megan Meehan

A New Baden man was still in critical condition Sunday after he was thrown from his motorcycle in a July 30 accident.

Army veteran Jason Stillwell, 41, was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after his motorcycle crashed on Illinois 4, according to Illinois State Police.

Stillwell has two children, Trinity, 12, and Connor, 11. He had just been accepted into nursing school at Kaskaskia College in Centralia, family friend Megan Meehan said.

Meehan started a GoFundMe campaign, which had raised more than $6,000 as of Sunday, to help Stillwell’s girlfriend, Penny Leith, and family pay his medical bills.

Meehan said Stillwell is her best friend and has “a heart of gold.”

“He would always do anything to help others with a smile on his face,” Meehan said. “Anytime anyone needed help, he was there. I’m a single mom with three kids, and if I had problems with my car or with my house or anything, he would be there to help and wouldn’t even blink.”

Meehan is now asking that people show the same generosity for Stillwell by helping in any way to support him and his family.

There will be a fundraising event at the Nashville Dairy Queen, owned by Meehan’s cousin, from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 12. If customers say they are there to help Stillwell, 20 percent of proceeds from their order will go to the family.

Meehan said Stillwell, whom she has known for four years, has severe head trauma and is unresponsive. She said doctors are re-evaluating his condition every 48 hours, but there hasn’t been a lot of change so far.

“There are many hurdles to overcome, and he’s in very critical condition. We don’t know if he’ll make it, but we’re all hoping for the best,” she said.