Driver pleads guilty to reduced charge in Vermont crash that killed actor Treat Williams

BENNINGTON, Vermont (AP) — A Vermont man pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge of reckless driving resulting in death in June. The accident that claimed the life of actor Treat Williams.

Ryan Koss, 35, who knew Williams, was sentenced to a year's deferred probation, and as part of his probation, his driver's license will be revoked for a year and he must complete a community-based restorative justice program on the misdemeanor charge.

Police said Koss was turning left into a parking lot in a Honda SUV on June 12 when he collided with an oncoming Williams motorcycle in Dorset. Williams, 71, of Manchester Center, who was wearing a helmet, suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

After the accident, Koss called Williams' wife to tell her what had happened, said Pennington County State's Attorney Erica Marthage, who said Koss from the beginning took responsibility for the accident.

At Friday's emotional hearing, Koss apologized and offered his condolences to Williams' family and fans. The managing creative director of the Dorset Theater Festival in Vermont has known Williams for years as a member of the close-knit community, as well as a fellow member of the theatre, and I considered him a friend.

“I am here to apologize and take responsibility for this tragic incident,” he told the court.

Williams' son, Gil, 32, wore his father's jacket and spoke directly to Koss, whom he had met before the accident. He said the family did not want to press charges or for Kos to go to prison.

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“I forgive you,” he said, “and I hope you forgive yourself.” But he also added: “I really hope you didn't kill my father.” “I really had to say that.”

Gill Williams said his father was “everything” to his family and an extraordinary person who lived life to the fullest, and it is now difficult to know how to move on.

Gil Williams said his father gave him the motorcycle the day before the accident, and he was “the safest person in the world.”

“It's very difficult for this to happen because of someone's negligence,” he said, urging people to take driving more seriously and be careful of motorcycles. Statements from Williams' wife, Pam, and his daughter, who did not attend the court hearing, were read aloud.

In her statement, Pam Williams said it was a tragic accident and she hopes Coss can forgive himself.

“Our lives will never be the same. Our family has been torn apart and there is a huge gap that cannot be filled,” Pam Williams wrote in her statement.

Daughter Ellie Williams wrote in her statement that she was too angry and hurt at this time to forgive Koss but hopes to do so in the future.

“I will never feel my father's embrace again; “To be able to get his advice again, to introduce him to my future husband, to have him walk me down the aisle, to introduce him to my kids, to have him cry when I name my first son after him,” one of the victim’s advocates said in her reading. statement.

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Koss originally pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of grossly negligent operation resulting in death. If he had been convicted of this charge, he could have been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

Richard Treat Williams' career, which spanned nearly 50 years, included starring roles in the television series “Everwood” and the film “Hair.” He has appeared in more than 120 television and film roles, including the films “The Eagle Has Landed,” “Prince of the City” and “Once Upon a Time in America.”

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