Vermont man accused of killing actor Treat Williams in vehicle crash pleads guilty, avoids prison time

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A Vermont man accused of killing actor Treat Williams in a 2023 vehicle crash plead guilty Friday to a reduced charge of negligent driving with death resulting and will avoid prison time.

Koss’ sentencing will be deferred for a year, Judge Kerry Ann McDonald-Cady said, and his license to drive will be suspended during that time. He will also be required to go through mental health counseling and a restorative justice program.

If he doesn’t comply with those conditions, the judge could impose a maximum sentence of two-years prison and a $3,000 fine.

CNN reached out to Ian Carleton, Koss’ attorney, for comment.

In June of 2023, Ryan Koss was driving a Honda Element SUV that turned into the path of Williams’ motorcycle on Vermont Route 30 in Dorset, police previously said.

The 71-year-old actor was thrown from the motorcycle and suffered critical injuries. He was airlifted to Albany Medical Center in New York, where he was pronounced dead, officials previously said.

More than a month after the accident, Koss was issued a citation on a charge of “grossly negligent operation with death,” at the request of the Bennington County State’s Attorney’s Office, Vermont State Police said last year.

In emotional remarks, Williams’ son says he forgives Koss, asks him to forgive himself

Williams’ son Gill spoke in court Friday, sharing how difficult it has been for his family since his father died, noting he was writing a movie for his father, a movie they were planning to do together.

“That was my story and it’s not anymore,” Gill Williams said.

He also addressed the anger he felt and what he thought he might say in court today.

“I’ve spent months now, going through my head of all the things that I could say that would be hurtful and I don’t want to do that,” Gill Williams said.

“I know that for me, to heal, and for my family to heal, for me to move on, I have to become a new person because you hit me that day and you killed me that day in some way,” he added.

“That was a different person because the person who now has to deal with the loss of my father, who was an extraordinary person, truly an extraordinary human being who had so much life left to live and so many incredible things to do, is a burden that I don’t know how to deal with, without becoming a new person.”

Part of being that new person, Gill Williams said, is forgiving Koss.

He said he felt he had to come to court “and just say that I do forgive you and I hope you forgive yourself. And I don’t want you to go to prison – we didn’t press charges – it’s very difficult to deal with the fact that there are no real repercussions, you know, it doesn’t feel – but what would it be? You know, nothing’s going to bring my dad back.”

The “Deep Rising” actor’s son also acknowledged that Koss didn’t mean to cause the accident.

“You just weren’t looking and you were negligent and incompetent that day and that’s as far as my anger with this goes, because I know you didn’t mean to do it,” he said.

Koss says he takes responsibility for the crash

“I can only begin my sincerest apologies and condolences to the Williams family and also to Mr. Williams’ loved ones, to his fans and to our community, who all cherished him,” Koss said, standing and addressing the court in a shaky voice after Gill Williams’ remarks.

“I’m here to acknowledge that this accident occurred because I made a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle that collided with my car and it was my responsibility to avoid that from happening, and for that I am truly sorry.”

Koss also addressed Treat Williams’ wife, Pam, son, Gill, and daughter, Ellie.

“And I hope this moment can bring some resolution to anyone impacted by this tragedy, especially to Pam Gill and Ellie, I’m so sorry.”

Treat Williams was known for various film roles including the 1979 musical “Hair,” as well as TV dramas “Blue Bloods” and “Everwood.” His last role was in the latest season of the Ryan Murphy period piece “Feud: Capote vs. The Swans,” currently airing.

CNN’s Anastasios Stefanidis, Nic F. Anderson and Dan Heching contributed to this story.

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