The husband of One Tree Hill actress Bevin Prince – William Friend – died at the age of 33 after being struck by lightning.

A friend was on a boat near Masonboro Island, North Carolina, during a thunderstorm when he was knocked down. His 34th birthday was just a week away.

Paramedics tried to resuscitate Friend for 20 minutes, but he was pronounced dead in an ambulance, local news station WECT-TV reported.

This is the third lightning-related death in the U.S. this year, according to the National Lightning Safety Council.

In 2020, the couple moved from New York and set up a cycling studio. Photo: @Bevinprince/Instagram

His employers, digital marketing company Bisnow, confirmed the British businessman’s death in a tribute on Instagram.

Next to a photo of him giving the talk, they wrote: “It is with deep sadness that we share the extremely difficult news: Will Friend, who took Bisnow to new heights as CEO, has died at the age of 33.”

The cycling studio run by Prince and Friend also posted a picture of Friend with a message thanking him for his “knowledge, guidance and support” and applauding his pursuit of the “American Dream.”

Prince, 39, and Friend married in 2016 and celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary last month. They left New York in the summer of 2020 and moved to the port city of Wilmington to focus on their fitness business.

The actress – who played Bevin Mirsky on One Tree Hill, a major recurring role in the show’s first four seasons – has yet to comment publicly on her husband’s death.

“Passion burned in your soul”

Prince’s friend, “You Again” actress Odette Annable, shared the tribute on Instagram along with photos of Prince, a friend and their dog Winston.

She wrote: “The unthinkable has happened and we have to say goodbye to another friend, @britwilliam. My best friend @bevinaprince, beloved husband.

“Will, this is surreal to write. Mainly because it feels like you’re just getting started. The life and love you gave to my best friend made us thousands of miles apart.

“As I sit in your beautiful home looking out over the ocean, I keep thinking about the gift you gave Bevin. What a gift you gave to all who knew you to witness the passion that burned in your soul.”

The 37-year-old star added: ‘You’re only 33 years old and you’ve done it and gone out in a blaze of glory like no other. Rest in peace, you charming, witty, handsome Brit who loved the s*** from America. I love you.”

A memorial GoFundMe page set up to raise money in Friend’s honor raised more than $35,000 (£29,000) in 12 hours.

Donated money will benefit Friend and Bevin’s business, Recess, and the Special Operators Transition Fund, which provides support to veterans and their families.

Sky News has contacted Prince’s representatives for comment.

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