Wicked Tuna's William "Willbilly" Hathaway has passed away after a catastrophic car crash, according to a report by TMZ.
Hathaway was involved in a fatal crash in Salisbury, Maryland on Saturday, local reports say. He swerved into a ditch on the side of a country road far from any help. At first, he actually believed he had come out okay from the crash, calling his wife to let her know what happened.
Hathaway reportedly told his wife that someone had cut him off on the road. He had swerved to avoid a crash and ended up in the ditch. Despite the phone call, paramedics were sent to the scene, and they found Hathaway unresponsive in his car.
Hathaway was transported to an area hospital. Shortly after his arrival, however, he was pronounced dead. The fisherman was 36 years old.
Hathaway is survived by a wife and a newborn daughter. In the wake of his passing, friends and family have set up a Facebook fundraising campaign to help support the family as they go through the funeral process and transition.
The fundraising goal was set for a quarter of a million dollars. By Monday, it had already gained a staggering $57,200 and growing. Hathaway was known for his dangerous line of work on the water, but his passing came as a shock to those who knew him.
"He was an exceptional human being whose passion was the sea," reads the fundraiser. "He always brightened the day of anyone he met. His wife and new born baby girl he was most proud of. Due to his untimely death we are asking for donations to help them stay on their feet while trying to survive this tragedy. Thank you in advance."
Hathaway was a crew member and first mate on the vessel Foolish Pleasures. He was featured on Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks and was well known in the Ocean City, North Carolina fishing community, even outside of his TV appearances.
On the show, Hathaway had a laid-back, fun-loving tone amongst the other fishermen. While the show often highlighted the cut-throat competition between crews, as well as the struggle to make ends meet, Hathaway never seemed to stressed out to have fun.
The turnout to support Hathaway's family on social media was amazing. Friends, family and fans wrote messages of support on Facebook. Many had never met Hathaway, yet they knew him well for his appearances on TV.0comments
"Will was the reason we both got hooked on Wicked Tuna!" one person wrote.
There are no details yet on Hathaway's funeral plans.