Treatment of fatal Williams driver pleads guilty, gets deferred sentence and license suspension

Women in Music 2024 panel

A Vermont man pleaded guilty in Bennington, Vermont, to a reduced charge in the June 12, 2023, crash that killed actor Treat Williams.

Ryan Coss, 35, agreed to plead negligent driving resulting in death. He was given a deferred one-year prison sentence, and his driver's license will be revoked for a year. He must also complete a community restorative justice program on the misdemeanor charge.

Koss, who knew Williams, was making a left turn into the parking lot of a Honda SUV on June 12. He was unable to see Williams' oncoming motorcycle, resulting in a collision.

Police said Williams, 71, was wearing a helmet, but suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, where he was pronounced dead.

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

At Friday's hearing, Koss apologized and offered his condolences to Williams' family and fans.

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

Williams' son, Gil, 32, 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.

“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.”

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.

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.

Williams was honored last week by his TV show Blue Bloods. He has had a nearly 50-year career in over 120 television and film roles.

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