William Friend: 5 Things To Know About ‘One Tree Hill’ Star Bevin Prince’s Husband Who Died At 33

The actress' husband was struck by lightning while boating in North Carolina. The chances of being killed by a lightning strike are less than 1 in a million.

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Image Credit: Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

Actress Bevin Prince is mourning the loss of her husband William Friend after he was struck and killed by lightning on Sunday night, Jul. 3, 2022, per local news outlet WECT-TV.  The One Tree Hill star’s husband was boating on a lake close to his home in Wilmington, North Carolina when he was struck, and pronounced dead in an ambulance after.

As Bevin and family mourn the shocking and tragic death of William, here are 5 things to know about the late businessman.

Bevin Prince
Bevin Prince is mourning the loss of her husband William Friend after he was struck and killed by lightning over 4th of July weekend. (Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock)

1. He was killed by lightning.

William was struck by lightning on Sunday while on a boat near Masonboro Island, close to his home in Wilmington, North Carolina.  He was pronounced dead after a medical team attempted to revive him for 20 minutes, per local news outlet WECT-TV.

According to the CDC, there is less than a one-in-a-million chance of getting struck by lightning and an even slighter chance a strike would be fatal. In 2020, the National Weather Service reported only 17 lightning-related deaths nationwide.

2. The couple wed in 2016.

Bevin and William were wed in May 2016. They relocated from New York City to North Carolina’s Wrightsville Beach during the pandemic, to be closer to family, according to Friend’s media company, Bisnow. The couple shared a dog named Winston, who joined the family in Apr. 2021. In 2020, they launched a local fitness business together called Recess.

3. Tributes poured in instantly.

Actress Odette Anabel paid tribute to her “best friend” Bevin’s on Instagram, calling news of his death “unimaginable”. She shared, “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.”

Odette added, “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.”

4. They celebrated their 6th anniversary in May.

Bevin and William’s romance was going strong, and they celebrated 6 years of wedded bliss in May 2022. The year before, Bevin shared a touching Instagram marking their 5th anniversary. There, she said, “5 years, baby. 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.”

5. A GoFundMe has been started in his name.

Bevin and family established a GoFundMe page for his memorial fund. Donations will support his service, in addition to two causes close to his heart: his business Recess, and the Special Operators Transition Foundation, which is dedicated to Special Operations veterans and their families.

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