“Wicked Tuna” star William “Willbilly” Hathaway reportedly died over the weekend, according to reports. He was 36 years old.
Maryland State Police’s Salisbury Barrack confirmed his death on Dec. 17, WBOC-16 reported. Hathaway’s truck swerved off a remote road and went into a ditch, killing him.
— ce ivy (@celivyy) December 17, 2018
Hathaway, a native of Berlin, Maryland, allegedly called his wife after the crash and told her he was fine but someone had cut him off, forcing him to swerve into the ditch.
His wife also apparently heard him tell concerned citizens who stopped to check on him.
But by the time first responders arrived, Williams wasn’t breathing and was slumped over the center console of the vehicle.
He was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center and was pronounced dead, the report said.
According to the report, there was minimal damage to the truck and his airbags didn’t deploy.
Members of the Ocean City fishing community set up a fundraising webpage to help his wife, Mary, and their daughter, Molly.
“He was an exceptional human being whose passion was the sea. He always brightened the day of anyone he met,” reads the page. “His wife and newborn 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.”
“On December 15 Mary’s husband William Joseph Hathaway a.k.a Willbilly, passed away suddenly in a car accident,” they added, saying: “Thank you in advance. The Ocean City Fishing Community.”
So far, about $60,000 has been raised.
Many of those who donated left positive messages as well. “Our community is so strong. Thank you all again for your continued support. Thank you WBOC for following up this tragic story and shedding light on the spirit of the kindness, compassion and love it takes to hold a village together. Your contributions will make a huge difference,” said one person.
Added another, “Sending you hugs for a peaceful heart and sincere condolences to you and your family at this time.”
Hathaway is survived by his daughter, Molly Jean, and wife Mary Malone Hathaway.
Other details about his death are not clear.
Not the Only Cast Member to Pass Away
Hathaway was not the only cast member on the National Geographic Channel show to die in 2018. Nicholas “Duffy” Fudge also died this year but his cause of death was not revealed.
National Geographic confirmed Fudge’s death at the time.
“Duffy was the first mate on Captain Tyler McLaughlin’s fishing vessel, Pinwheel. We join his family and friends in mourning his untimely loss,” the statement said, CNN reported in July. His obituary says he had a passion for the outdoors.
.@NatGeoChannel and @Pilgrim_Studios were saddened to learn that Wicked Tuna cast member Nicholas “Duffy” Fudge passed away this week. Duffy was the first mate on Captain Tyler McLaughlin’s fishing vessel, Pinwheel. We join his family and friends in mourning his untimely loss. pic.twitter.com/Cw8Q8JKQHn
— Wicked Tuna (@WickedTuna) July 23, 2018
“Nick also treasured the environment and he took seriously his responsibility to protect it,” the obituary added. “He was known for his smile, his fearlessness, his adventurous spirit, his mischievous sense of humor, and giving big hugs.”
“Wicked Tuna,” according to IMDB, includes “teams of tuna fisherman battle the elements, and each other, to catch the most Giant Bluefin Tuna.”