Tommy Jett, a radio personality who started in the 1960s with WFLI radio, was surrounded by his “close personal friends” as Tommy Jett Drive was unveiled near the intersection of Ga. 193 and Happy Valley Road near his home in the Fox Den subdivision.
Jett is grateful to be alive to see a road named in his honor after he nearly died on another nearby road, during a serious accident that Jett had on April 18 on Ga. 2A in Rossville.
"I was shocked, honored and humbled by it because so many people have hung in with me down through the years, going with 50 years on the air."
Several of the Walker County Emergency Services personnel were on hand, including Jordan Gitgood, the first to arrive on the scene. Jett praised Gitgood’s efforts for keeping calm in a situation that Jett feels he is lucky to have lived through.
Jett was hospitalized with a broken back and neck for a few weeks, narrowly avoiding paralysis and as his conditions did not improve.
“Everyone who has treated me along the way said I should not have survived. My doctor likes to call me his little miracle,” Jett said.
Jett had expressed that he did not want to be kept alive long-term if there was no possibility of recovery from life support systems.
Funeral arrangements had been made and his family was on their way to the hospital for a final visit when Jett regained consciousness 10 minutes before their arrival.
As Jett began to improve Walker County sheriff Steve Wilson and other officials began to put the road dedication in motion. They figured “Hey Now!” is the time to celebrate and honor the radio pioneer in a fashion that matched his trademark catch phrase.
However, Jett would face another even more deadly battle in July as a diabetic reaction led to kidney and lung failure. He spent four months in the hospital before being released.
“I just thank God for every day now,” Jett said regarding the ordeal.
Sheriff Wilson spoke about Jett’s dedication to his community and willingness to help local children. Walker County commissioner Bebe Heiskell read a proclamation in his honor, and other radio and TV personalities shared the stories from days gone by and paid their respect to the man who was a mentor to several who attended the dedication.
Jett was overwhelmed by the adulation of his peers and friends while fighting back tears of joy to have heard the sentiments that almost became his eulogy.