William Friend sitting with wife Bevin Prince on lawn chairs at the beach
instagram | @bevinaprince

'One Tree Hill' Actress Bevin Prince's Husband Dies After Lightning Strike

One Tree Hill actress Bevin Prince's husband William Friend has passed away at 33 after being struck by lightning while boating.

This sudden tragedy is only the latest to come in a year marked with them. Not only have we seen an alarming number of mass shootings unfold in recent months, but we've also seen some of the stars we love and their loved ones depart from the world in shocking and unexpected ways.

And while some of these deaths sadly remain mired in mystery, it's also true that knowing exactly what happened doesn't make the pain of loss any easier to endure.

That is true for those now honoring Friend's memory after what was supposed to be a joyful time with friends turned tragic.

Amid the seven years he served as the CEO of business-to-business real estate firm Bisnow, Friend also started an outdoor cycling studio with wife Bevin Prince.

William Friend sitting with wife Bevin Prince on lawn chairs at the beach
instagram | @bevinaprince

That information comes courtesy of The Daily Mail, who also reported that Prince's best friend and fellow actress Odette Annable posted a heartfelt tribute to Friend on Instagram.

As she wrote, "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."

Prince is best known for playing cheerleader Bevin Mirskey in 41 episodes of One Tree Hill.

Friend passed away on July 3, a day that found him partying with friends on a boat near Masonboro Island in North Carolina.

William Friend kneeling behind dog at beach
instagram | @bevinaprince

According to WECT, Friend was struck by lightning, which prompted civilians to flag down the Marine Unit of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office while they were on a routine patrol.

But while deputies performed CPR on Friend as they moved him to shore and an EMS unit attempted to resuscitate him for 20 minutes after he reached their ambulance, he was pronounced dead before they could make it to the hospital.

Friend's devastating fate serves as a sobering reminder that the average boat doesn't offer any real protection during a lightning storm.

William Friend driving boat with lake in background
instagram | @bevinaprince

As Captain Ryan Saporito of Sea Tow Wrightsville Beach told WECT, "Some people think that there’s some protection just based on a little bit of metal, but really there isn’t when you consider that lightning gets into the metal systems of your boat and you’re very close to those."

As he went on to say, to be near a body of water or beach during a storm is to expose yourself to a lightning threat.

Friend's death came less than a week before his 34th birthday and marks the third lightning-related death in the United States this year.

William Friend cuddling black dog on boat at beach
instagram | @bevinaprince

Friend and Prince celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary in May 21 and had made a new home together in Wilmington, North Carolina after moving from New York City in 2020 to be closer to their family.

h/t: The Daily Mail, WETC