Jackson Hill had his summer planned out. He was working out, getting ready for his senior football season at Lee’s Summit High School. The 17-year-old had a well-paying job with a moving company that helped him bulk up for his starting spot as an outside linebacker. He had just finished football camp and was looking forward to a little time off.
Instead, he spent the summer fighting for his life.
After running some errands on June 13, Jackson had some time to kill before heading to Holden for a friend’s going-away party. He decided to go visit his sister, Tabitha, in Warrensburg and headed that direction on Missouri Route 13.
Jackson topped a hill speeding on his motorcycle and found a car stopped in the middle of the road in front of him waiting to turn. He tried to swerve left to avoid the car, but clipped its left rear fender and veered directly into the path of an oncoming car, striking it at full speed.
“I remember laying there, and I was mainly worried about my bike and how bad it was hurt,” Jackson later recalled. “’Cause I didn’t realize near how bad everything was.”
“I was worried, you know that I probably had some road rash. I was worried about getting back up, that my dad was going to be mad and whatnot. But I was definitely thinking that I was going to get back up and be on my way.”
But Jackson had suffered massive trauma. His right leg was amputated below the knee. Every bone in both legs was severely broken. His left ankle and foot were shattered. He had a broken pelvis and a massive, deep laceration extending from his hip nearly to his groin.
Jackson lay crumpled and broken on the centerline of the highway.