As we reported earlier, 16-year-old Jett, son of John Travolta and Kelly Preston passed away Friday, January 2. Basil Rahming, chief police superintendent said that a caretaker at the Travolta vacation home found the teen unconscious in one of the bathrooms after he hit his head. He was taken by ambulance and pronounced dead at a Freeport hospital.
Jett was last seen heading into the bathroom on Thursday and according to police spokesperson Loretta Mackey, he may have hit his head on the tub. It’s unclear if the injury caused the seizure. An autopsy is planned to determine the exact cause of death.
Rand Memorial Hospital in Freeport, would not release any further details due to privacy.
“The Travolta family has become like family to us at Old Bahama Bay and we extend our deepest sympathies to them,” said Robert Gidel, president of Ginn Resorts, the property’s owner.
“He’s broken up. He just had to tell Ella a minute ago,” family friend and Tampa-based attorney Michael McDermott said Friday. He had just arrived in the Bahamas, where he had planned to join the Travoltas and a small group of their close friends to celebrate the new year. He did not know about the incident until he arrived that afternoon.
His voice cracking with emotion, McDermott called it a tough scene and noted “Kelly’s very quiet.”
“Just say a prayer for them,” he added. “That’s all you can do at this point.”
McDermott said Friday one of Travolta’s close associates was “making funeral arrangements in Ocala.”
Jeremy Thayer, the developer of the Jumbolair community north of Ocala where the Travoltas live, said he and wife Terri learned about the tragedy via phone earlier in the day.
“It breaks Terri’s and my heart,” Thayer said. “He was just such a handsome, handsome, beautiful boy.”
Thayer described Jett as a fun-loving teen who loved the outdoors and could often be seen riding his bike or a golf cart around Jumbolair.
The news also came as a blow to Mary Acevedo, a shift manager with Denny’s in Silver Springs. The Travolta family eats at the restaurant often, she said, and “are truly the nicest people.”
She called Jett a “good kid” and noted the entire family was a joy to have in the restaurant.
“The whole family is just so down to earth,” Acevedo said. “(John) just acts like one of us. Half the time, people don’t even realize they’re there. But when people notice them, he’s willing to sign autographs.”
The Travoltas also frequented Tony’s Sushi in southwest Ocala.
Contacted late Friday afternoon, owner Tony Li was a bit shaken as he had just seen the news on TV. He said he last saw the Travolta family, including Jett, at the restaurant about two months ago.
“Terrible accident,” he said. “He was really nice. He liked to eat. He liked to eat.”
Li said the staff always made Jett’s favorite, fried rice and shrimp tempura, just the way he liked it — the tempura not to crunchy.
How unbelievably sad and our hearts and prayers go out to the Travolta family during this most difficult time.