Driver in Treat Williams Fatal Crash Changes Plea to Guilty, Avoids Prison

The driver charged in the fatal crash that killed actor Treat Williams in June 2023 has changed his plea to guilty, and by doing so, will avoid a prison sentence.

Ryan Koss, the Vermont driver charged with gross negligent operation in Williams’ death, initially pleaded not guilty to the charge in September 2023. However, on Friday, Koss agreed to plead guilty to a reduced charge of negligent driving with death resulting, which — if he abides by the terms of the plea deal — does not call for a prison term; Koss faced up to 15 years in prison under the initial charge if the case went to trial.

In court Friday, Koss accepted responsibility and apologized to Williams’ family for the fatal accident, where Koss’ vehicle pulled ahead of Williams’ motorcycle in a way that a police investigation determined Williams could not avoid the collision. Williams died of severe trauma and blood loss at the age of 71 as a result of 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 (via CNN). “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.”

Under the terms of the plea deal, Koss’ sentencing was deferred one year, during which time his drivers license was suspended. He was also ordered to attend mental health counseling and a restorative justice program. If he does not abide by those conditions, the judge warned he would hand down a two-year prison sentence.


The actor’s son Gill Williams also addressed the court to say that he has forgiven Koss over the accident, and hoped that Koss could forgive himself. “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,” Gill Williams told Koss at Friday’s hearing.

“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.”