DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Junkyard Dog (aged 45)
American professional wrestler
Sylvester Ritter (December 13, 1952 – June 1, 1998) was an American professional wrestler and college football player, best known for his work in Mid-South Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation as the Junkyard Dog (or JYD), a nickname he received while working in a wrecking yard. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2004.
DEATH: Ritter died on June 1, 1998, in a single-car accident on Interstate 20 near Forest, Mississippi, as he was returning home from his daughter LaToya’s high school graduation in Wadesboro, North Carolina.Ritter had stayed active in professional wrestling until the time of his death, appearing at Extreme Championship Wrestling’s 1998 Wrestlepaloozaevent, just one month prior. He was the founder of the Dog Pound stable in independent Mid-South promotion, based in southern Louisiana. Among Ritter’s last contributions to professional wrestling was the training of former WWF wrestlers Rodney Mack and Jazz. His daughter, LaToya Ritter, and his sister, Christine Woodburn, represented him as he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2004 at a ceremony held on March 13, 2004 by Ernie Ladd, the day before WrestleMania XX.