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‘One Tree Hill’ star Bevin Prince's husband dies at 33 after being struck by lightning

NBC News logo NBC News 7/7/2022 Marlene Lenthang
© Provided by NBC News

William Friend, the husband of “One Tree Hill” star Bevin Prince, died Sunday after being struck by lightning in North Carolina.

Friend, the CEO of digital media company Bisnow, was 33.

Friend was near Masonboro Island when he was struck around 3:15 p.m, NBC affiliate WCET of Wilmington reported.

Marine units from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office’s and the Wilmington Police Department responded to the incident, according to the news station. Deputies performed CPR on Friend, who was taken to an ambulance.

First responders attempted to resuscitate him for 20 minutes before he was pronounced dead, officials said.

His death is the third lightning fatality in the U.S. this year, according to the National Lightning Safety Council, which said Friend died during "beach activities."

Prince appeared in episodes of “One Tree Hill” from 2003 to 2012, according to her IMDb profile.

She and Friend married in 2016 and launched a local fitness business together in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, his company, Bisnow, wrote in a tribute

NBC News has reached out to Prince's representatives for comment.

Prince’s close friend, actor Odette Annable, on Wednesday shared a tribute on Instagram, writing: “The unimaginable has happened and we have to say goodbye to another friend.”

"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," wrote Annable, who starred in the 2010 film “You Again.”

"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," she continued.

Annable said Friend was "perfect" for Prince in "every way."

"You supported her dreams, you made her feel seen, you adored her with every bit of your soul," she wrote. "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."

The couple celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in May 2021.

At the time, Prince shared photos from their nuptials on Instagram. In a caption that accompanied the post, she wrote: “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.”

Friend was credited with transforming Bisnow “from a local events business into a multichannel data, events, news and intelligence platform for the multitrillion-dollar commercial real estate market,” the company's tribute said.

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