‘DWTS’ Star in Shock Over Friend’s Death

by | February 4, 2010 at 7:07 PM | TV News

Mentell & Ohno (Stephen Shugerman/Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Olympian and ‘DWTS’ winner Apolo Anton Ohno says he’s still in shock over the death of his good friend, actor Justin Mentell.

“Justin’s passing was a complete shock to me, as I just communicated with him a short while prior,” the Olympic speed skater told E! News.

“I knew him since I was about 12 years old, and we grew up skating together,” he added. “He was always the one to make us smile in the group that we were with—either it was his perfected Jim Carrey impersonations (from ‘Ace Ventura’) or simply being goofy—we all knew that he would someday make it in the Hollywood scene.”

The skating champ also called his friend an “avid artist” who was “a fun, cool guy that I grew up with and spent many good meals with on my weekend jaunts to L.A.” He also said the actor had visited him on the set of ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ where Ohno competed with partner Julianne Hough in 2007.

“May he RIP. I’ll do my part to make sure he lives on in our hearts and memories,” he said.

Mentell, 27, was killed in a car accident early Monday. He appeared on the ABC drama ‘Boston Legal‘ and co-star William Shatner expressed his grief on Twitter.