5 Months After Her Husband Was Killed by a Lightning Strike, ‘one Tree Hill’ Actress Talks Out
Bevin Prince, star of “One Tree Hill,” is speaking out five months after her husband, William Friend was killed by lightning. In an exclusive ABC News interview, Prince recalls the painful moment her husband died, the memories she shared with him, and how she is recovering.
“I’m just really proud,” Prince added. “He was by far the funniest person I’ve ever met, brightening up every room he entered. You never forgot Will Friend.”
On July 3, 2022, Prince and her 33-year-old husband were out on the water with family and friends near their Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina home. They did it on several weekends. Prince recalls a storm approaching, but she stated that they were monitoring it.
There were “60-some boats out there,” according to Prince, but “we’d been there so many times, and there was no need for anyone to get off the lake at that juncture; we were watching it.” When things changed quickly, she said she jumped on another boat with her father.
Local authorities informed ABC News that lightning struck Friend. Deputies performed CPR on Friend from his boat to theirs until they arrived at the marina, where EMS took over.
“They ran over to him, and a police boat happened to be coming by, so they moved him over to the police boat fast, and from what I’ve heard, they spent a lot of time and care attempting to resuscitate him,” Prince said.
“Right before it hit him, he lit a cigar and looked at my father and said, ‘If we get struck by lightning, Mike, this is where I want to be,’ and then it happened,” she claimed. “His timing was perfect.”
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Prince described his death as “divinity.” “He was 33 years old, it was July 3, and I believe the lightning struck at 3:13 p.m., so knowing that all the resources were there to possibly save him, I have to believe that something bigger than me was calling him,” she said.
After her husband’s untimely death, her “One Tree Hill” co-stars expressed their condolences. Hilarie Burton, Prince’s co-star, posted a touching Instagram message praising Prince’s bravery and asking for support.
Sophia Bush, who also appeared in the popular sitcom, took to Instagram to urge her followers to show Prince the “love her husband always showed her.”
“It’s fantastic, tragic, and fortunate that in this scenario, it takes a disaster to show how people rally, support, and love you,” Prince added. “I’m extremely fortunate.”
Prince is carrying on Recess, her late husband’s outdoor cycling gym. “He believed in me and my message and what Recess truly is—community, support, and the ability to show up exactly as you are and breathe and move together,” she added.
“Will had such a purposeful life,” Prince added. “I feel a responsibility to carry it on and find my own way to continue serving in his honor, and that’s what my life will be now.”