The Charlotte Observer
A man killed by lightning on July 3 in North Carolina has been identified as William Friend, the husband of “One Tree Hill” star Bevin Prince, officials say.
Friend, 33, was struck by lightning while on a boat near a beach at Masonboro Island, according to the National Lightning Safety Council.
Recess, a fitness company based in Wilmington owned by Prince and Friend, posted a tribute on Facebook.
“There was nothing Will respected or valued more than the American Dream, entrepreneurship, and women in business,” the post says. “We know he wanted to see this business continue to great success and lead to the employment of many more people. Creating rewarding and meaningful jobs for others was the legacy Will wanted to leave.”
Prince has not commented publicly on her husband’s death on social media. A request for comment sent to Recess by McClatchy News was not immediately returned on July 7.
Prince, 39, starred in the drama “One Tree Hill” that aired for nine seasons on The CW. Prince played Bevin Mirskey, who appeared on the show from 2003 to 2012, according to IMBD.
Friend was CEO of Bisnow, a digital media company. The company also shared a tribute on Facebook.
“What made Will special was his innate ability to inspire and motivate people — raise people higher than they thought possible,” Bisnow chief operating officer and chief financial officer Gregg Mayer said in a statement. “That is the culture he fostered at Bisnow and, ultimately, that will be his lasting legacy.”
Friend was on a boat in the area of Masonboro Island, which is about 7 miles southeast of Wilmington and home to a nature preserve, when he was struck by lightning the afternoon of July 3.
Deputies responded to a call at about 3:15 p.m, and first responders gave him CPR before taking him to a hospital.
Friend is the third person to die from a lightning strike this year, according to the National Lightning Safety Council.