The professional wrestling world was rocked this week by the death of 38-year-old Jay Briscoe in a horrific car accident in his home state of Delaware. Briscoe — his real name was Jamin Pugh — and his brother Mark Briscoe (Mark Pugh) made up a popular tag team called the Briscoe Brothers, who portrayed themselves as rednecks and nicknamed themselves “Dem Boys.”
They were 13-time and current tag team champions in Ring of Honor, and part of that organization since 2002. Jay Briscoe also was a two-time ROH singles champion. The Briscoes were inducted into the ROH Hall of Fame last year.
Jay Brisco died Tuesday, eight days before his 39th birthday and one day before Mark Briscoe’s 38th birthday. While the accolades for Jay Briscoe as a wrestler, friend and family man flooded in over social media in the hours following his death and brought tears to many eyes, it was how he died that made his death especially tragic.
Read more about the death of pro wrestler, Balls Mahoney, here.
Here’s What Happened
Delaware State Police troopers said Jay Briscoe and his two daughters, ages 9 and 12, were involved in a two-car accident on Laurel Road in Laurel, Del. Troopers said Lillyanne Ternahan, 27, of Frankford, Del., was driving a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 west on Laurel Road as Jay Briscoe was traveling eastbound on the road in a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500.
Ternadan swerved out of her lane because of “unknown reasons,” troopers said, and caused a head-on collision with Jay Briscoe. Both drivers were pronounced dead at the accident scene.
Jay Brisco was not wearing a seatbelt, troopers said, but Briscoe’s daughters, who were in the back seat, were buckled in. They were taken to a nearby hospital. Ashley Pugh, Jay Brisco’s wife, said on Facebook that one of her daughters underwent back surgery because of the accident. The grieving mom asked everyone to “pray for her (daughter’s) precious legs to move again!”
The other daughter “has some pretty serious injuries, but is stable and resting,” Ashley Pugh said. Jay Briscoe often traveled to his daughters’ cheerleading competitions and was reportedly driving them to a cheerleading practice when the accident happened.
The Laurel School District school closed Wednesday in the aftermath of the accident. A post on the school district’s Facebook page called the accident “an unthinkable tragedy in our community.”
The Pro Wrestling Community Reacts
Here are some of the social media comments from pro wrestlers: “I’ve been in tears since I heard the news,” said Cash Wheeler of the FTR tag team. This is what the usually strange Danhausen had to say: “One of the top highlights of my short ROH run and career was being able to not only work with the Briscoes, but having the absolute privilege to wrestle Mark and Jay. (Jay was) one of the best wrestlers to ever do it and always so nice and helpful to everyone.”
Adam Cole said, “I don’t know what my life would be like without Jay Briscoe in it, and I don’t want to know. You believed in me, you helped me, you treated me like family. There will never be another like you. I am so grateful to have known a man like you. I love you Jay.” Matt Hardy said, “I loved Jay. Jay was so real. Jay loved his wife and kids more than anything and we shared that bond. I’m heartbroken for the family.”
AEW founder Tony Khan, who purchased ROH last month, announced Jay Briscoe’s death on social media, saying, “Jay and his brother Mark dominated ROH, reigning as champions until this day. We’ll do whatever we can to support his family.”
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