William Friend, 'One Tree Hill' Star Bevin Prince’s Husband, Dead at 33 By Lightning Strike
By Mona Khalifeh
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One Tree Hill actress, Bevin Prince's husband, William Friend, is dead after being struck by lightning. According to North Carolina news station, WECT6 News, authorities discovered Friend on a boat after he had been struck by lightning during a storm near Masonboro Island, off the coast of Wilmington.
Per the outlet, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office responded with their Marine Unit, along with Wilmington Police Department’s Marine Unit, after they were flagged down by several eyewitnesses.
Deputies performed CPR on the 33-year-old CEO before taking him to the Marina for emergency medical attention. EMS then moved him to an ambulance, where they attempted to resuscitate him for 20 minutes before he was pronounced dead.
Prince's friend and fellow actress, Odette Annable, confirmed the sad news with a lengthy tribute to Friend on Instagram, writing, "The unimaginable has happened and we have to say goodbye to another friend, @britwilliam. My best friend @bevinaprince beloved husband. Will, it feels surreal writing this. Mostly because it feels like you were just getting started. The life and love that you gave to my best friend made it feel okay that we were thousands of miles apart. As I sit in your beautiful home, looking out onto the ocean, I keep thinking about what a gift you gave to Bevin. What a gift you gave to everyone who knew you to witness the passion that burned in your soul. The passion to help people, to build your business, to find happiness like I’d never seen from you living in North Carolina with Bevin."
The You Again actress called Friend perfect for Prince, adding that she'll "forever be grateful" she was able to witness the love he had for her.
"You were perfect for her in every way. You supported her dreams, you made her feel seen, you adored her with every bit of your soul and I will forever be grateful to witness that kind of love," Annable shared.
She continued, "Being here with Bevin, hearing her share stories about you and your love breaks my heart for her, because she lost the love of her life and the world lost a really really good one. I know you will still be with her and your gorgeous brothers and family the Prince family, and we will all feel you spreading your light and beauty through everyone who was fortunate enough to know you. At only 33 years old, you did it, and you went out like no other in a blaze of glory. May you Rest In Peace you charming, witty, beautiful British man who loved the sh*t out of America. I love you."
In lieu of flowers, Annable asked that those who want to support consider donating to causes Friend believed in, including the business he started with Prince, Recess by Bevin Prince where the One Tree Hill alum now works as a fitness trainer. She also listed a link to a Go Fund Me that has been set up to help cover the costs of Friend's memorial service.
Several famous faces commented on Annable's post, including Jenna Dewan, who wrote, "I’m so sorry odes 😢."
Prince, 39, rose to fame back in 2004 with her role as Bevin Mirskey on the hit CW TV series.
She and Friend tied the knot in May 2016, and later moved to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina to be closer to family during the COVID-19 pandemic.