Actor Treat Williams Killed in Crash, Driver Avoids Jail with Probation Plea

A tragic mishap ends in an emotional courtroom scene.

by Nouman Rasool
Actor Treat Williams Killed in Crash, Driver Avoids Jail with Probation Plea
© Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Ryan Koss, 35, the driver involved in the tragic accident that led to the untimely death of celebrated actor Treat Williams in Vermont last summer, entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of negligent driving this Friday.

The incident, which sent shockwaves through the entertainment world, occurred when Williams, known for his iconic roles in "Everwood" and the movie "Hair", was fatally injured while riding his motorcycle. Koss, who received a one-year deferred sentence alongside probation, saw his driving privileges revoked for the same duration, with an additional requirement to participate in a community restorative justice program.

The courtroom atmosphere was charged with emotion as Koss, who acknowledged Williams as a friend, expressed his remorse to the actor's bereaved family, friends, and admirers. "I'm here to apologize and take responsibility for this tragic accident," he stated, visibly shaken.

The fatal collision took place on June 12 in Dorset, when Koss, maneuvering a Honda SUV, made a left turn into a parking lot, directly impacting Williams' motorcycle. Despite wearing a helmet, Williams, 71, from Manchester Center, sustained critical injuries and was subsequently airlifted to Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Forgiveness Amid Grief

In the immediate aftermath, Koss undertook the painful duty of informing Williams' wife about the heart-wrenching incident, according to Bennington County State’s Attorney Erica Marthage.

During the sentencing, Williams' son, Gill, 32, donning his father's jacket, addressed Koss with a message of forgiveness mingled with sorrow, underscoring the profound loss experienced by the family. Ellie Williams, the actor's daughter, shared a poignant statement reflecting her anguish and tentative hope for eventual forgiveness, highlighting the irreversible void left by her father's absence.

"I will never get to feel my father’s hug again; be able to get his advice again," she lamented, touching on the deep personal loss beyond her father's public persona. Originally facing a felony charge with a potential sentence of up to 15 years in prison, Koss's guilty plea to negligent driving marked a significant turn in the case, mitigating the legal repercussions but not the weight of the tragedy.

Treat Williams' illustrious nearly five-decade-long career adorned with over 120 TV and film roles, including memorable performances in "The Eagle Has Landed," "Prince of the City," and "Once Upon a Time in America," left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.

His recent role as Lenny Ross in the CBS series "Blue Bloods" received a heartfelt tribute from the show, underlining his lasting impact and cherished memory within the hearts of many.