An El Reno schoolteacher and football coach was killed Monday evening in a vehicle accident.
Jacob Randall Briggs, 24, died in the accident that happened on S.H. 81, south of I-40.
“This is the worst thing to have to deal with. This is crushing to get that phone call and then get confirmation the next morning from the authorities. It’s devastating on our first responders because a lot of them knew Jake.
“This is tough on our faculty and tough on our young kids,” said El Reno Superintendent Craig McVay.
El Reno police said the accident happened at 5:39 p.m. and involved two vehicles.
Assistant Police Chief Kirk Dickerson said police were called to the area of S.H. 81 and OKC 10th in reference to a report of a motor vehicle collision.
The report said officers determined both vehicles were southbound in the outside lane of S.H. 81 when the vehicles collided. Briggs was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said Briggs was driving a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado pickup. The second driver has been identified as Stacy Glen Terry, 51, of Woodward.
Police said Terry was operating a 2016 Kenworth semi-tractor pulling a sand trailer. The front of the victim’s vehicle collided with the rear of the sand trailer.
Dickerson said the accident remains under investigation.
“I cannot tell you how much we will be affected by this. It’s a very emotional time and this is a tough pill to swallow,” said McVay.
Briggs was in his first season at El Reno after spending two years coaching football and baseball at Merritt.
He was in charge of the Indians defensive backs and was slated to coach junior high baseball in the spring. He taught social studies at Etta Dale Junior High.
“He was very popular with the young kids and the players and was well thought of as a teacher in a very short time. The faculty at Etta Dale is very young and work well together. It’s tough to deal with, especially when it’s close co-workers,” said McVay.
McVay said El Reno head coach Chuck Atchison took the news hard since he had coached Briggs in high school while at Prague and had worked on the Red Devils staff with Briggs’ father, Steve.
Briggs’ family moved to Wetumka for his final two years of high school, said McVay, where he played football and baseball. He played quarterback for the Chieftains where he earned first team all-district honors.
He went on to graduate from Oklahoma State University in 2018 with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture, majoring in agribusiness, according to the OSU website.
Briggs’ death comes three days short of his 25th birthday, said McVay.
“We are working with the family to what a memorial will look like and the funeral service. I know Coach Atchison has been in touch with Jake’s parents and I'm certain we will do something local here as well,” said McVay.
El Reno Athletic Director Rodney Haydon got to know Briggs.
“Just a tragic accident. Coach Briggs was not only an up-and-coming coach but as a parent of a kid that was in his class, he was really good and well-liked in the classroom. He had a very bright future in education and on the field. Definitely our thoughts go out to his family,” said Haydon.
El Reno Public Schools will be offering counseling and bereavement support services to students and staff. Etta Dale Junior High counselors can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.