Pro wrestler Jay Briscoe, other driver killed in head-on crash at 38; daughters critically injured

By6abc Digital Staff WPVI logo
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Delaware school district closed due death of pro wrestler
Jay Briscoe, whose real name was Jamin Pugh, was a longtime resident of Sussex County, Delaware. He was inducted into the ROH Hall of Fame last year and was a two-time former ROH world champion.

LAUREL, Del. -- Jay Briscoe, a legend in independent professional wrestling and one-half of one of the best tag teams of the last 20 years, died at age 38 in a head-on crash Tuesday that also killed the other driver. His two young daughters were critically injured in the collision.

The news of Briscoe's death was announced by Ring of Honor (ROH) and All Elite Wrestling (AEW) president Tony Khan on Twitter.

Briscoe, whose real name was Jamin Pugh, was born in Maryland and a longtime resident of Sussex County, Delaware.

Delaware State Police released more details Wednesday morning on the fatal crash.

It happened around 5:09 a.m. Tuesday on Laurel Road near Goose Nest Road in Laurel, Delaware.

Police say the driver of a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck, identified as 27-year-old Lillyanne Ternahan of Frankford, Delaware, was traveling westbound on Laurel Road.

At the same time, a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 pickup truck being driven by Briscoe was traveling eastbound on the same road.

Briscoe had his two daughters in the truck with him, ages 12 and 9.

Police say, for unknown reasons, Ternahan failed to remain in her lane, crossed the center line and entered eastbound traffic.

Police say she drove directly into the path of Briscoe's truck, resulting in the head-on collision.

Both Briscoe and Ternahan were pronounced dead at the scene. Police say Ternahan was wearing her seatbelt and Briscoe was not wearing one.

The 9-year-old and 12-year-old girls, who police say were both properly restrained in the truck, were taken by ambulance to a local hospital in critical condition.

Police say "alcohol involvement in this crash is unknown. No other vehicles were involved in this collision."

The roadway was closed for approximately four hours as police investigated.

Troopers are asking anyone who witnessed the collision to contact Sergeant J. Burns at calling 302-703-3269.

The Laurel School District canceled classes Wednesday due to Briscoe's death.

The district posted the following announcement to its Facebook page on Tuesday:

"Due to an unthinkable tragedy in our community this evening, the Laurel School District will be closed for tomorrow, Wednesday, January 18, 2023. Schools will reopen Thursday. Please keep the Pugh family in your thoughts and prayers."

Briscoe was ROH tag team champions with his brother Mark. It was their 13th reign as champions in the promotion with which they were synonymous. The Briscoe Brothers' first reign happened back in 2003, and Jay was on the first-ever ROH card in 2002.

"Sadly, Jamin Pugh has passed away," Khan tweeted. "Known to fans as Jay Briscoe, he was a star in ROH for over 20 years, from the first show until today. Jay and his brother Mark dominated ROH, reigning as champions to this day. We'll do whatever we can to support his family. Rest In Peace Jamin."

Briscoe was inducted into the ROH Hall of Fame last year and was a two-time former ROH world champion. He also held titles in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and Impact Wrestling. The Briscoe Brothers are considered one of the best tag teams of all time to never perform for WWE.

Last year, the Briscoe Brothers had some of the best matches anywhere in the world, with AEW tag team FTR over the ROH tag team titles. The trilogy featured a regular match, a two-of-three-falls match and then a dog collar match. The Briscoes won the third contest to win back the belts.

Over the years, the team had memorable storylines with tag teams like the Young Bucks, Kevin Steen & El Generico (now Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, respectively), the Motor City Machine Guns and the Second City Saints (CM Punk and Colt Cabana).

Briscoe's 286-day ROH world title reign, his second run as champ, included defenses against Samoa Joe, Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly and Tommaso Ciampa.

Wrestling World Remembers Jay Briscoe

Pro wrestling stars, executives and promotions from across the industry posted their heartfelt messages and condolences after hearing of the tragedy.


Triple H

Chris Jericho

Shawn Michaels

Adam Cole

Seth Rollins

Cody Rhodes



Sami Zayn

Kofi Kingston

Nikki & Brie Bella

Sammy Guevara

Mickie James

Matt Hardy

Bully Ray

Kyle O'Reilly

Mustafa Ali

The Usos

Ari Daivari

Matt Cardona

Renee Paquette

Impact Wrestling

New Japan Pro Wrestling



Madison Rayne

The Blue Meanie

Tommy Dreamer

Christopher Daniels

Gail Kim-Irvine

Ethan Page


ESPN contributed to this report.