Tom Bodett Accident: Is There Anything to Worry About? In a world where life’s unexpected events shape our destinies, the story of Tom Bodett stands as a testament to the indomitable human spirit. Tom Bodett, known for his iconic voice as the Motel 6 spokesperson, has traversed a remarkable path filled with triumphs, challenges, and personal growth. From a life-altering accident to becoming a celebrated writer and now a passionate woodworker, Bodett’s journey is nothing short of inspiring. At the age of 20, Bodett faced a near-fatal accident while attempting to restore electricity to his cabin in Oregon. The incident left him with severe injuries and forever changed his outlook on life. Despite the physical and emotional scars, Bodett emerged from the hospital with an unwavering determination to embrace challenges head-on.

Details In Short:

  • Name: Tom Bodett
  • Age at the time of the accident: 20
  • Location of the accident: Oregon, United States
  • Result of the accident: Severe injuries, including a near-fatal heart stoppage
  • Bodett’s recovery: Miraculously survived and gained a new perspective
  • Bodett’s time in Alaska: 23 years of fishing, home building, and writing
  • Writing career: Authored seven books inspired by Alaskan adventures
  • Recognition: Became famous in Alaska through Motel 6 commercials
  • Personal struggles: Battled alcoholism during his time in Alaska
  • Sobriety: Achieved sobriety in 1992 for a better life
  • Woodworking passion: Found solace in woodworking after moving to Brattleboro, Vermont

The Accident that Changed Everything

One fateful day in Oregon, 20-year-old Tom Bodett found himself facing a life-or-death situation. Determined to restore electricity to his cabin, he bravely climbed a pole to reach the power line. However, tragedy struck when the lever he grabbed caused an electrical surge that not only blew him off the pole but also caused severe injuries, including a near-fatal heart stoppage. Bodett miraculously survived, but his life would never be the same. The accident left Bodett with physical and emotional scars, but it also instilled in him a newfound sense of fearlessness. He emerged from the hospital with a changed perspective, ready to embrace life’s challenges head-on. Bodett’s accident became a catalyst for personal growth and a driving force behind his unwavering determination.

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A Journey to Alaska and Beyond

Following his recovery, Bodett embarked on a new chapter of his life in the wilderness of Alaska. For 23 years, he immersed himself in fishing, home building, and honing his writing skills. His experiences in Alaska inspired him to pen seven books, chronicling his thrilling adventures in the untamed wilderness. Through his writing, Bodett shared his love for the rugged landscapes and unique culture of Alaska with the world.

However, it was in Alaska that Bodett also found unexpected fame. His Motel 6 commercials became a sensation in the region, making him a recognizable figure. Despite his success, Bodett remained humble, acknowledging that in a place like Alaska, his commercials were a significant part of the local culture. But his journey wasn’t without its struggles.

Battling Inner Demons

During his time in Alaska, Bodett faced personal demons that threatened to overshadow his accomplishments. He struggled with alcoholism, leading to a downward spiral in his personal life. However, in 1992, Bodett made the courageous decision to get sober. He found strength in wanting to be a better father to his young son and discovered that living a sober life brought him immense joy and clarity.

With newfound sobriety, Bodett transitioned from Alaska to Brattleboro, Vermont, seeking a different pace of life while still surrounded by like-minded individuals who possessed a hands-on approach to living. In rural Vermont, he found solace in woodworking and discovered his true passion for craftsmanship.

The Artistry of Woodworking

Embracing his talents as a woodworker, Bodett has honed his skills to become a master of his craft. His woodshop, located above his home recording studio, has become a sanctuary where he can channel his creativity and transform raw materials into intricate pieces of art. Bodett’s love for woodworking is palpable, evident in the exceptional coffee table he proudly built—a single piece that gracefully balances on three legs.

While Bodett could easily turn his woodworking into a lucrative business, he prefers to share his creations with others. For him, the joy lies in giving away his meticulously crafted pieces rather than turning his passion into a job. He believes in the value of community and collaboration, which led him to co-found HatchSpace, a nonprofit center in Brattleboro where people can gather to share tools, ideas, and their love for woodworking.

Woodworking as a Path to Sobriety

Interestingly, Bodett credits woodworking as a significant factor in maintaining his sobriety. The art form has become a form of therapy and a constant reminder of his journey to overcome addiction. Woodworking demands presence, patience, and a clear mind, qualities that align perfectly with Bodett’s commitment to a sober lifestyle. Through the act of shaping and transforming wood, he finds solace and a renewed sense of purpose.

Looking Towards the Future

Now at the age of 68, Bodett has no plans of slowing down. He envisions spending the rest of his life in his woodshop, passionately creating beautiful pieces of art that bring joy to others. Having already experienced the fragility of life, he cherishes every moment and immerses himself fully in the craft he loves.


In conclusion, the story of Tom Bodett is one of resilience, personal growth, and the pursuit of passion. From the life-altering accident that changed his perspective to his successful career as a writer and his current calling as a woodworker, Bodett exemplifies the human spirit’s ability to adapt and thrive in the face of adversity. Through his journey, he reminds us that even in the darkest moments, there is always hope and the potential for a brighter future.

So, the next time you hear Tom Bodett’s voice inviting you to Motel 6 and assuring you that “we’ll leave the light on for ya’,” remember the remarkable journey that led him to where he is today—a testament to the power of resilience, creativity, and the pursuit of a meaningful life.

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