William Friend, Husband of 'One Tree Hill' 's Bevin Prince, Dead at 33 After Being Struck by Lightning

Friend was struck by lightning Sunday while on a boat near Masonboro Island close to his home in Wilmington, North Carolina

One Tree Hill star Bevin Prince's husband, William Friend, has died. He was 33.

According to the National Lightning Safety Council, Friend was struck by lightning on Sunday. He was pronounced dead in an ambulance, where the medical team attempted to revive him for 20 minutes, per WECT-TV. The tragedy occurred while he was on a boat near Masonboro Island, close to his home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Prince's representatives did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Following Friend's death, Prince's close friend, You Again star Odette Annable, shared a tribute via Instagram on Wednesday.

"The unimaginable has happened and we have to say goodbye to another friend, @britwilliam. My best friend @bevinaprince beloved husband," Annable, 37, wrote alongside a series of images featuring Prince, Friend, and their dog Winston, whom Prince introduced to fans in April 2021.

One Tree Hill Actress Bevin Prince’s Husband William Friend Dies at 33 After Being Struck by Lightning. https://www.instagram.com/p/CZ_6LewOwn_/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D
Bevin Prince/instagram

"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," she continued.

"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."

In the heartfelt note, Annable also praised Friend for his passion "to help people, to build your business, to find happiness like I'd never seen from you living in North Carolina with Bevin."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

"You were perfect for her in every way," she shared. "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."

One Tree Hill Actress Bevin Prince’s Husband William Friend Dies at 33 After Being Struck by Lightning. https://www.instagram.com/p/CZ_6LewOwn_/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y`
Bevin Prince/instagram

Prince, 39 — who starred in the CW series One Tree Hill from 2004 to 2012 — tied the knot with Friend in May 2016. During the pandemic, the couple moved to Wrightsville Beach from New York City to be closer to family, according to Friend's media company, Bisnow. In 2020, he and Prince launched a local fitness business together called Recess.

A GoFundMe page was established for his memorial fund. The donations will also be used to support two causes Friend was passionate about — his business Recess and Special Operators Transition Foundation, which was dedicated to Special Operations heroes and their families.

Last year, the pair celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary. Sharing a carousel of images from their special day on Instagram, Prince reflected on their marriage in the caption.

"5 years, baby," she wrote at the time. "Winston and I are so lucky to know you, to love you, and to learn with you. We have come so far and I am so proud of the life we have built. You make life delicious, my love. I love you. ❤️ @britwilliam."

Related Articles