William Friend was in a boat when it happened 😢
One Tree Hill's Bevin Prince is mourning her husband, William Friend, after he was struck by lightning and killed in a freak incident over the Fourth of July weekend.
A 33-year-old man was fatally hit by lightning on Sunday while on a boat near Masonboro Island in North Carolina, according to the National Lightning Safety Council. Police later told local broadcaster WECT that the victim was Prince's husband, William Friend.
Officers from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and the Wilmington Police Department showed up at the scene and performed CPR, but EMS ultimately pronounced Friend dead in the ambulance before transporting him to the hospital, WECT reports.
The council says it was the third lightning death this year.
Friend was the CEO of a real estate advisory firm called Bisnow, and he and Prince got married in 2016.
Bisnow confirmed Friend's death in a statement on Wednesday and hailed him for taking the company to "new heights as CEO."
Prince's One Tree Hill fans and close friends shared their support and sympathy with her after the news broke on social media.
You Again actress Odette Annable posted a photo of Friend with a tribute in the caption.
"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. As I sit in your beautiful home, looking out onto the ocean, I keep thinking about what a gift you gave to Bevin," she wrote.
Others have also commented on some of Prince's photos of her husband.
"Lifting you up today and everyday. So incredibly sorry for your loss," said one user.
"You got to experience great love, which is an incredible blessing. How sad a lifetime of it with him was so short. Prayers of strength to see you through. Hold onto the memories, and he’ll always live on through you. May he Rest In Peace," said another on Instagram.
Recess by Bevin Prince, the couple's joint business, thanked everyone for their support in a statement on Instagram.
"Will’s knowledge, guidance, and support is the foundation that Recess is built on," the statement said.
They also directed well-wishers to a GoFundMe set up to support two charities he "felt strongly about."
The page had raised more than US$46,000 as of Thursday morning.