“Wicked Tuna” star William Joseph “Willbilly” Hathaway, 36, died Saturday after the truck he was driving was involved in a wreck in Salisbury, Maryland.
Hathaway was a crew member on the Foolish Pleasures, featured on the Nat Geo’s fishing show. The series depicts fishermen on the hunt for bluefin tuna.
Investigators with the Maryland State Police said Hathaway allegedly called his wife and told her he was OK but that someone turned in front of him and he had to swerve into a ditch, according to WBOC16. However, Hathaway was not breathing and slumped over the center console by the time EMS and troopers arrived. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, WBOC16 reports.
The Facebook group Ocean City, MD Fishing Community changed its profile photo to commemorate him: “Rest in Paradise & Tight Lines. Love ya Will Billy. ”
Wes Pollitt, an administrator of the group, posted about Hathaway’s death on the page.
“As many of you know, yesterday afternoon we lost one of the best fishermen on the planet, ” wrote Pollitt. “For those of you who knew Willbilly, knew he was an amazing fisherman but more importantly he was an amazing person. ”
Others posted prayers while praising Hathaway as someone known for offering help to others.
Hathaway left behind a wife and infant daughter. A fundraising page on Facebook was established to help the family.
Hathaway is not the only “Wicked Tuna” star to die young. Nicholas “Duffy” Fudge, a fisherman who was part of the cast of the reality television show, died at age 28 in July.