As Action Air 1 flew over the scene firefighters could be seen getting the fire under control.
Dr. Charles Williams', who had been with Moffitt Cancer Center since it opened its doors in 1986, died on scene after his vehicle caught fire.
“You can’t regroup from that, it’s just a tremendous loss and I don’t know how to put it in words other than that," said longtime friend and neighbor Stephen Hawke.
“The Moffitt family is devastated by the loss of Dr. Charles Williams,” said Dr. Alan List, president and CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center. “He has been part of our family since the cancer center opened its doors back in 1986 and through the years has fought courageously alongside countless numbers of patients going through their cancer journey. Our thoughts are with Dr. Williams’ family at this very difficult time.”
The lung cancer specialist was named Moffitt's physician of the year in 2010.
“He went the extra mile to try to make sure that he could accommodate them whenever possible," said Dr. Robert Keenan, Moffitt's Chief Medical Officer.
Friends say Dr. Williams' legacy will live on through his work, courageously fighting alongside countless cancer patients.
“Keeping his memory in the back of our minds when we are confronting patients with cancer and having that little ‘what would Charlie do?’ kind of thought," said Dr. Keenan.
Both the ramps to Fowler Avenue and the westbound lanes were closed for more than an hour following the crash.