The pro wrestler known as Jay Briscoe — best known as one half of the foul-mouthed Briscoe Brothers tag team — was killed in head-on highway crash in Delaware as he was taking his daughters to cheerleading practice, officials and his family said.
Briscoe, whose real name was Jamin Pugh, was driving east on Laurel Road in a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 at 5:09 p.m. ET Tuesday when a westbound Chevrolet Silverado 1500 "crossed the center lane" and came "directly into the path" of eastbound traffic, state police said.
The Silverado 1500 was driven by Lillyanne Ternahan, 27, of Frankford. She and Pugh, 38, of Laurel, were pronounced dead at the scene in Laurel.
Ternahan was wearing a seat belt, and Pugh was not, police said.
Pugh was traveling with two daughters, ages 9 and 12, who were wearing seat belts, police said. The girls were rushed to a nearby hospital where they were listed in critical condition.
Pugh's mother, Jana Pugh, told NBC Philadelphia that he was taking the girls to cheerleading practice.
She said she believes her son was alive when she and her husband arrived at the scene.
“My husband did the yell to him,” Pugh told the station. “Calls him Chum. He said, ‘Chum, we’re here.’ So if he was conscious at all at that time, he would’ve heard that. And I like to think he did.”
The pickup trucks were the only vehicles involved in Tuesday evening's fatal crash, and it wasn't immediately clear whether either driver was impaired, police said.
Pugh and brother Mark Pugh were the Briscoe Brothers, who performed for the Florida-based Ring of Honor wrestling circuit.
"It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the tragic passing of Jamin Pugh, known to wrestling fans around the world as Jay Briscoe," Ring of Honor said in a statement Wednesday. "Our thoughts are with his family, his friends, and his fans."
The brothers' in-ring personas, as tough guy chicken farmers, were among the Ring of Honor's most popular acts of the early 2000s.
Outside the ring, friends knew Jamin Pugh as a devoted father.
During the heart of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Ring of Honor posted a video of Pugh wearing ribbons in his hair and practicing a cheerleading routine with his daughter.
"An incredible performer who created a deep connection with wrestling fans across the globe," tweeted famed WWE performer Triple H, whose real name is Paul Michael Levesque.
"My condolences to the family and friends of Jay Briscoe."
The Laurel School District was closed Wednesday because of the "unthinkable tragedy," it said in a statement.