Pro wrestling Hall of Fame member Tamara Lynn “Sunny” Sytch was involved in a fatal, three-car crash in Florida and police are investigating her for possible “impairment,” authorities said.
Sytch, 49, was behind the wheel of a 2012 Mercedes-Benz when she rear-ended a Kia that was stopped at a traffic signal, police said in a statement on Tuesday. The incident happened on North Yonge Street in the city of Ormond Beach, just north of Daytona Beach, at 8:28 pm on March 25.
The Kia’s driver, Julian Lafrancis Lasseter, 75, died from his injuries, authorities said.
The impact caused Lasseter’s car to strike a third vehicle, causing injuries to the GMC Yukon’s 46-year-old driver and a passenger, but they didn’t need to be hospitalized, police said.
Sytch was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center “and later released after a search warrant was approved and executed to obtain a sample of her blood for investigation of impairment,” according to the police statement.
The Mercedes-Benz was traveling about 45 mph while going south on Yonge, just north of Granada Boulevard, where the speed limit is 45 mph, the traffic crash report said.
“The investigation may lead to criminal charges, which are pending toxicology results,” police said. “OBPD has requested an expedited timeframe on the processing of these samples and the results will be made available as soon as the department receives them.”
Sytch could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday.
In her days since leaving pro wrestling’s limelight, Sytch has accumulated a lengthy arrest record for a variety of offenses, including driving while under the influence and making violent threats.
An arrest warrant was issued for her on Jan. 13 in connection to a domestic violence case in New Jersey. She raised a pair of “scissors in the air towards the victim,” while “threatening to kill him,” according to a Keansburg, New Jersey, complaint.
A prosecutor from Keansburg Municipal Court could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday and it was not clear if that case was still active.
She’s been arrested at least six times for alleged drunken driving in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the past seven years.
“Our hearts go out to the Lasseter family that lost their loved one in such a tragic event,” Ormond Beach Police Chief Jesse Godfrey said in a statement.
“Our goal at the Ormond Beach Police Department is to keep city roads safe, so if you see a vehicle operating in a manner that leads you to believe the driver may be impaired, please don’t hesitate to call 911. You may just save someone’s life.”
Sytch was a mainstay in the then-World Wrestling Federation and other circuits in the mid-90s and into the early 2000s. She played multiple “diva” roles that included ringside valet, on-air commentator and wrestler herself.
“Sytch will forever be remembered as the person who redefined the role of women in WWE,” according to her Hall of Fame profile. “She was a pinup, a fast-talking manager and could throw down when she needed to. In short, she was sexy, smart and powerful.”
Associated Press contributed.