Driver charged in connection with crash that killed actor Treat Williams

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A Vermont man now faces a single charge in connection with a fatal crash that killed actor Treat Williams.

On the afternoon of June 12, Williams was riding his 1986 Honda VT700c motorcycle along Route 30 in Dorset, Vermont, in the southwestern corner of the state near the New York border. Ryan Koss, 35, was reportedly driving a Honda Element SUV in the opposite direction on Route 30, which in Dorset is a two-lane road.

At about 5 p.m., Koss stopped in his lane and signaled that he intended to make a left turn into a parking lot. Unfortunately, Koss then reportedly turned right in front of Williams, who “was unable to avoid a collision and was thrown from his motorcycle,” a statement from the Vermont State Police said.

Williams was quickly airlifted to a hospital in Albany, New York, but all efforts to save him were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead. He was 71.

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An autopsy conducted by a medical examiner’s office in New York has now determined that Williams, who had been wearing a helmet, died from “severe trauma and blood loss as a result of the crash.” Koss also reportedly suffered “minor injuries” that day and was treated at the scene.

On Tuesday, Bennington County state’s attorney Erica Marthage decided to issue a citation for Koss. He has been charged with grossly negligent operation with death, which in Vermont carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $15,000.

Koss appears to be cooperating with authorities. After the prosecutor decided to charge Koss, police contacted him, and he soon afterward met with state troopers voluntarily at the Shaftsbury Barracks. He was then processed, photographed, and released. He is scheduled to be arraigned on September 25.

Hollywood staple Richard Treat Williams spent more than 50 years on screen and on stage. His break-out role came in a film adaptation of the musical “Hair” in 1979. Afterward, he appeared in several hit movies, including “Once Upon a Time in America” with Robert De Niro and “Mulholland Falls” with John Malkovich and Nick Nolte.

From 1972 until 1980, he starred as Danny Zuko in a long-running theatrical production of “Grease.” He also appeared in “The Pirates of Penzance.”

By the early 2000s, he had become a regular cast member of the popular WB television series, “Everwood” and in recent years appeared on Hallmark Channel’s “Chesapeake Shores” and alongside Tom Selleck in the CBS cop drama “Blue Bloods.”

But as he grew older, Williams, a native New Englander, spent much of his downtime at his farmhouse in Vermont. In his final social media message posted just hours before his death, Williams shared a photo of his extensive property along with a small glimpse of a tractor mower. “Mowing today,” he said in the caption. “Wish I could bottle the scent.”

Williams is survived by his wife of 35 years, Pam Van Sant, and their two children.

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