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Driver in crash that killed “Everwood” star Treat Williams pleads guilty to reduced charge

At an emotional hearing, the actor's son reportedly told the driver, "I do forgive you, and I hope that you forgive yourself."

The Vermont man charged with grossly negligent operation in the vehicular crash that killed Everwood actor Treat Williams pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Friday.

According to the Associated Press, Ryan Koss, 35, pleaded guilty to negligent driving with death resulting and was given a one-year deferred sentence. Koss, who knew Williams, will lose his driving license for a year and has to complete a community restorative justice program as part of his probation.

Police said in a news release last year that the June 12 accident occurred when Koss attempted to turn his Honda Element into a parking lot, with the initial investigation indicating that he "stopped, signaled a left turn, and then turned into the path of a northbound 1986 Honda VT700c motorcycle operated by Williams." Authorities added that Williams "was unable to avoid a collision and was thrown from his motorcycle. He suffered critical injuries and was airlifted to Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, where he was pronounced dead."

Williams, whose screen credits also included Hair and Blue Bloods, was 71.

<p>Gabriel Olsen/Getty</p> Treat Williams in 2017

Gabriel Olsen/Getty

Treat Williams in 2017

After the Bennington County State's Attorney's Office completed its review of the crash in August, Koss voluntarily met with police, was processed on the charge of grossly negligent operation with death resulting, and was released. Koss initially pleaded not guilty to that charge, which is a felony that could have carried a sentence of up to 15 years.

According to the AP, Koss' hearing Friday was "emotional" because, as the managing creative director of the Dorset Theatre Festival in Vermont, he had known Williams for many years. Bennington County State's Attorney Erica Marthage told the court that Koss called Williams' wife, Pam, after the accident to inform her of what had happened, and that he had taken responsibility for it, which he reiterated in the courtroom. "I'm here to apologize and take responsibility for this tragic accident," he said.

Williams' wife and daughter provided written statements, but the actor's son, Gill, appeared in court on behalf of the family, ultimately saying that it was not their wish to press charges or see Koss go to prison. Though Gill admitted to Koss "I really wish you hadn't killed my father," he said, "I do forgive you, and I hope that you forgive yourself."

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