Driver Charged in Treat Williams’ Fatal Accident Says He’s ‘Devastated’

Ryan Koss, Treat Williams

Heavy/Getty/Vermont State Police Mugshot of Ryan Koss, who's been charged in the accident that killed actor Treat Williams

The theater executive who’s been charged in the crash that resulted in Hallmark star Treat Williams’ death has broken his silence nearly two months after the tragedy in Dorset, Vermont — minutes from Williams’ family home. Ryan Koss, 35, issued a statement via his attorney on August 4, 2023, according to Us Weekly, in which he said that the charge against him is “unwarranted” and that he is “devastated” because he considered Williams a friend.

According to to a press release from the Vermont State Police (VSP), Koss was formally charged on August 1 with “grossly negligent operation with death” following a review of the crash by the Bennington County State Attorney’s office. Investigators determined that Koss “was driving the Honda Element SUV that turned into the path of Mr. Williams’ motorcycle.”

Williams, who was 71, was wearing a helmet and after being thrown from his bike, according to witnesses, he was conscious at the scene. But after being airlifted to Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, according to police, Williams was pronounced dead that evening from “severe trauma and blood loss as a result of the crash.”

A witness to the crash said Koss quickly recognized that the person he’d hit was Williams. Here’s what you need to know:

Ryan Koss Offers Condolences to Treat Williams’ Family

Treat Williams

GettyHallmark star Treat Williams

Koss, according to the Manchester Journal, moved to Dorset with his husband, Will Rucker, in 2018 to work for the Dorset Theatre Festival, which is known for its high-caliber summer productions. The company just wrapped a sold-out run of “Still,” a murder mystery featuring TV stars Tim Daly and Jayne Atkinson.

In May, weeks before the accident, Koss was promoted to managing creative director and Rucker was named executive artistic director at the theater. Williams was active in the local theater community, including starring in Dorset Theatre Festival’s 2017 production of “American Buffalo,” per The Daily Gazette.

“I am devastated by Mr. Williams’s tragic passing,” Koss said in a statement issued by his attorney, Ian Carleton of Sheehey Furlong & Behm. “I have known Treat for years, both as a member of this tight-knit community and fellow theater maker. I considered him a friend. I know his family feels his sudden loss even more deeply than I do, and I offer my sincerest condolences to them.”

Williams had been married to Pamela Van Sant since 1988, and they have two grown children — Ellie, 25, and Gill, 31. In his official obituary, they wrote, “It’s hard to imagine a family loving their father and husband more than Treat’s family loves him.”

Koss, meanwhile, asked in his statement for privacy “during this heartbreaking time” and also said that he is “confident the facts will show I obeyed all relevant traffic laws, and the State’s charges are unwarranted.”

If convicted, according to Vermont state law, Koss could receive a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000 or both.

Witness Says Ryan Koss Realized at Crash Scene He’d Hit Treat Williams

On June 12, the collision occurred in front of East Dorset auto repair shop Long Trail Auto, where Koss was taking his car for maintenance. Shop owner Matt Rapphahn told People that he witnessed the accident and estimated Williams was thrown 15 feet.

Rapphahn also said Koss, who was not badly hurt, got out of the car to “console” the victim and realized it was Williams.

“It was hard to tell (it was Treat) with the helmet on,” Rapphahn said, according to People. “But (he) knows him — knew him — and he was saying, ‘Oh, my God, it’s Treat.'”

After running back to his shop to call 911, Rapphahn returned to the crash site, where he said Williams was conscious.

“Emergency services were asking him questions,” he recalled, adding that the “Chesapeake Shores” star was “in a great deal of pain.”

“But they had to get him onto the backboard to get him onto the stretcher and then onto the ambulance,” he said.

Eventually, Williams was airlifted to Albany Medical Center in New York, where he died that night from his injuries.