FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. — Friends and family members of a truck driver continued to mourn on Wednesday, a day after he died in a fiery crash that shut down parts of I-70 for several hours.
The crash happened on Tuesday afternoon after Maryland State Police said a truck hauling diesel fuel traveled off the left side of westbound I-70 near the Mt. Airy exit and went into the median before overturning and becoming engulfed in flames.
One person died in the crash, who investigators later identified as 57-year-old William Costigan of Damascus.
On Wednesday, friends and family members posted to social media and remembered "Bill" as a hardworking and kind man.
"I knew him around 30 years ago when he had Costigan Towing," explained tow truck driver John Davis, who said he kept in touch with Costigan through the years. "He was down to earth. He would do anything for you. Just an all-around nice guy.”
Another tow truck driver told WUSA9 that Costigan operated towing companies out of Montgomery County, with the towing community being tight-knit.
Aerial footage of the crash on Tuesday showed Costigan was driving a diesel tanker for Metro Petroleum.
After seeing the flames shoot up and knowing the connection to his friend, Davis said the crash brought plenty of heartbreak.
"I didn’t believe it. I saw the video and I just don’t believe it," he said. "It’s hard to speculate what went on out there. Did someone cut him off? Did something run out in front of him? Maybe a tire blew out?"
Investigators said the cause of the crash was still unknown as of Wednesday evening.
No other injuries were reported in Tuesday's crash.
However, the tragic accident highlighted the dangers of hauling fuel, with the Maryland Motor Truck Association saying drivers must use "extreme caution" during the hauls.
"For drivers hauling liquid hazardous materials in tank trucks, the back-and-forth flow of liquid requires a greater level of skill than is required for most other drivers — potentially the highest needed in the trucking industry," President Louis Campion wrote in a statement. "This is why these operators must go through additional licensing certifications (called “endorsements”) before they are able to operate tank trucks and haul hazardous materials. Safety is, and must always be a priority."