That's A Crime

Treat Williams - Fatal Motorcycle Accident (2023)

September 01, 2023 Just Curious Media Episode 64
That's A Crime
Treat Williams - Fatal Motorcycle Accident (2023)
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Show Notes Transcript

That's A Crime
Episode 64: Treat Williams - Fatal Motorcycle Accident (2023)

Jason Connell and Sal Rodriguez break down the true crime story of the Treat Williams - Fatal Motorcycle Accident in 2023. On June 12, 2023, 71-year-old actor Treat Williams was riding his motorcycle in Dorset, VT when 35-year-old Ryan Koss turned his SUV into Williams' path causing the actor to hit the SUV and killing him.

Recorded: 08-22-23
Studio: Just Curious Media
https://www.JustCuriousMedia.com/

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Jason Connell:

Whoa, just curious. Welcome to Just curious media. This is that's a crime. I'm Jason Connell.

Sal Rodriguez:

And I'm Sal Rodriguez.

Jason Connell:

All right, Sal, we are back with another crime.

Sal Rodriguez:

Yeah, this was a total surprise to me because I did not know that this particular incident in this particular tragedy, had any crime involved. This is news to me.

Jason Connell:

Yeah, I knew about it when it happened. I wasn't sure I kept my you know, eyes and ears on it, and then got some more information because it's tragic. It really hit me hard, was a big fan. Because today we are breaking down the True Crime Story of treat Williams fatal motorcycle accident in 2023. That was a tough one treat Williams came to prominence in the early 70s, late 70s with one particular role, which was kind of do a hitlist, end of the 80s. He was in tons of movies, also 90s lots of shows and TV and facts out he was in 120. TV and film roles collectively. So that is quite a few. And you always hate seeing someone die before their time. And, and then in a way like this, it can an accident. It's also like, wow, it's just so tragic. It's over, boom. You know, you don't think about that person, you have a theme and a while and then the next thing you get a headline that they're dead. And those are always the worst. It's like, oh my gosh. So you probably remember the headline, you just didn't know that this was a crime.

Sal Rodriguez:

Not only did I not know that there was any crime involved. But you know, Jason, that word accident. My oldest brother is a LSAT, firefighter just retired. And for years I've been hearing stories about what goes on out there on the streets. And the word accident you know, it brings to mind like, accident accident implies maybe not preventable. But when you look at every incident like this, you think these are totally preventable This is it it really an accident. Wow. I don't know the word accident. I you know, we can look at the dictionary to what that implies. But I think sometimes when you look at incidences, like these totally preventable if we stay aware, and cautious.

Jason Connell:

Yeah, so there's a lot of things to unpack with this episode. Motorcycles cars, I don't ride a motorcycle, but I've written and still ride scooters, like not like the skateboard scooters, but like scooters that like a vest, but like a motorcycle. Bicycles. I have several bikes. I know you have several bikes. So when you're the inferior vehicle on the road, you have to be incredibly cautious as of which I think treat was but inevitably a car or a bigger vehicle can take you out. Well, Jason, the risk of the road

Sal Rodriguez:

you just reminded me the Jay Leno incident recently. He was on a motorcycle, right?

Jason Connell:

He's always on something. Yes, he Yes. motorcycles, cars, classic cars. So things happen. And, you know, if you're not in a car, you don't just, you know, hurt your bumper, you go down and when you go down, things happen. So

Sal Rodriguez:

you know, I want to ride a motorcycle like it's kind of a bucket list. I want to at some point I want to build up to it because I was looking recently at small motorcycles. I was looking at large scooters and sort of the hybrids in between electric versus gas. I would like to at some point ride a motorcycle just for a while. A bucket list. But the problem with motorcycles is you have zero margin of error. Zero, you can't Yeah, if you and I go out in our SUVs, yeah, we can get a little fender bender every now and again. Hopefully not but we can hopefully not motorcycles. There's zero margin of error. You cannot mess up something cannot impede on you something that crossed your path. Look out.

Jason Connell:

Yeah. So let's delve into this and we already are but treat Williams rest in peace passed away, was killed June 12 2023 at 71 Very young living life was married to Pam Van Sant had two children was born in Connecticut didn't know that so he's a New Englander will save the crime of the accident for right now just give you a quick hit list of movies like I promised just a few. But hair 1979 He was nominated for a Golden Globe and that was pie where he just shot out of nowhere like Milos Forman directs who is an incredible director treat Williams played George burger. Do you remember him in this movie? Remember this movie? I'm assuming this for classic musical

Sal Rodriguez:

Jason This is the movie that introduced me to treat Williams This is the movie you guys saw this as a kid and I remember I it is burned in my brain. In the movie hair I believe burger treat Williams character. He takes the draft notice from a friend and goes to war for him in his place. Seriously, I'm not seeing this to this day. Wow. Huge big big time.

Jason Connell:

So then just a few others prints of the city 1981 70 lament directed also just an incredible director, then the pursuit of DB Cooper 1981 Now that rings a bell for us because our first episode ever on that's a crime was the DB Cooper hijack heist. So he is playing me who is also DB Cooper. The movie also starred Robert Duvall, and I believe so you know, someone from that movie as well?

Sal Rodriguez:

Yes. First of all, I need to see this movie. We need to see how we

Jason Connell:

did on that. Let's talk about

Sal Rodriguez:

we got it. We got to see this movie. Yeah, my friend Brad Sergi. is in this movie. The pursuit of DB Cooper. Any? That's awesome. Jason. We need to talk about this later on. But he told me some stories about Robert Duvall. He did okay. He did

Jason Connell:

save that. Save that for another day. Then there's once upon a time in America 1984 Directed by Sergio Leone. I remember this movie vividly. He played Jimmy O'Donnell Irish Of course. It also starred Robert De Niro and James Woods. Then the late shift 1996 This is the movie that I think I love him the most from our I revisit this movie the most because it was a great movie that was really about the Tonight Show. When Carson laughed and it was the battle between Leno and Letterman and treat Williams played Michael Ovitz the founder of CAA who also represented Letterman, and got Letterman to CBS gig and Leno took the tonight show. It's just this incredible movie that I could watch over and over again and treats incredible. Everybody's incredible at it. And he was nominated for an Emmy. Because it was a TV movie. I think it was HBO before they were really banging out movies back in 96. And then one title that always rang a bell with me was things to do in Denver when you're dead. 9095 Oh, by the way, a late shift was directed by Betty Thomas. She used to be an actress on shows like St. Elsewhere she also directed private parts

Sal Rodriguez:

was the channel Jason in The Hill Street Blues

Jason Connell:

or let's say St. Elsewhere apologies. Betty Thomas was an actor on Hill Street blush Yeah, okay. I remember her vividly from that thank you Sal for reminding me I think I said the wrong name but she was amazing on the show then she became a director did this did private parts with Howard Stern and so many other things so she's a fantastic director. But yeah, there's a few so treat definitely like stood out to me those roles like hair for you was late shift for me. Like oh my gosh, I love this. So yeah, he was great. And probably more so in the 80s his prominence I should probably go back and revisit some of these movies much like the DB Cooper movie. So as I'm researching this, of course I'm learning a few more things about treat that I didn't know that he was a professional pilot for a year in the early 1980s I could see that he looks like that he could have that clean cut all American look. He was also a certified flight instructor rated in single and multi engine airplanes and helicopters. All the more fitting that he plays DB Cooper in a movie sound he's very very familiar with aeronautical you know workings and he can jump out of airplanes. Yeah, cuz you know what, at low altitudes.

Sal Rodriguez:

Jason I don't know if I've ever heard of somebody who flies airplanes and helicopters.

Jason Connell:

I think Harrison Ford does that. Okay, very I've heard he has nice, well speaking. So put that in hip pocket Harrison Ford treat Williams next trivia is is just that he treat Williams was considered for the role of Han Solo and Star Wars but ultimately lost the part to Harrison Ford. I can see that. The only other actors that do helicopters and pilots.

Sal Rodriguez:

Yeah, Harrison Ford being a pilot is an episode in and of itself.

Jason Connell:

lately. Yes. And my last trivia was he received a Tony Award nomination for his role in the Broadway musical which is close to your heart. Greece, where he played the character Danny Zuko. I didn't know he's got that musical background to which I know that. You're a huge fan of Greece.

Sal Rodriguez:

I love Grace. I love music. well

Jason Connell:

stated.

Sal Rodriguez:

I did not know that he played Danny Zuko in Greece. So I got to look at more information on that. Well, not the movie. Yeah, no, I know. But But Broadway.

Jason Connell:

nominated for a Tony. I got it. I received a Tony nomination. Yeah. Tony Award nomination. So now let's pivot into the accident crime. On June 12 2023. Around 5pm The renowned 71 year old actor Trent Williams tragically lost his life in a motorcycle accident. The incident occurred on route 30 and Are Vermont of Witsel I have been to Dorset Vermont stayed the night there we were doing a road trip we all had a beautiful dinner. And then we went to visit my friend's mother's farm the next day and then we headed out of town we all stayed in these little b and B's. So it was very cute. This is years ago and I spoke highly of Dorset. It's just a really beautiful not a seaside town by any means. Vermont's not really seaside. They're more inland, but cute, quaint, everything that you would think it is. Anyway, so he was there. And that's where Williams was riding his 1986 Honda VT 700 C. Motorcycle. Yeah, and I mean, think about classic 1980 Yeah,

Sal Rodriguez:

I mean, this happened in 2023, the motorcycles from 1986. So he was obviously a lover of what classic motorcycles.

Jason Connell:

Yeah, this guy can ride a helicopter airplane, fly in airplane flag company. Do you call it ride or fly?

Sal Rodriguez:

I don't know, Jason. But, you know, it's like I have a newfound appreciation for treat Williams not only as an actor, but he was pretty badass.

Jason Connell:

pretty badass. Yeah. Well, the other side of this accident is Ryan costs a 35 year old Resident of Dorset, and he was driving a oddly enough a 2008 Honda Element, those little mini SUVs like a square like a square and turned into Williams path while attempting to make a left turn into a parking lot. This always scares me Sal. When I'm on a bicycle not going nearly the speeds of motorcycle can go are on my scooter, your heads on a swivel. And same with a motorcycle, but a motorcycle can rev and like make noise and get your attention or Aha, on a bicycle. Good luck. You've got to watch them. And I'm not usually you know, in that fast lane. But you're just watching watching watching. And how many times have I seen someone not see me at all? Yeah, a lot, especially more often than you think people making

Sal Rodriguez:

a right and only looking to the left?

Jason Connell:

Yeah, I was on a trail not that long ago last month. Going to the Point Judith lighthouse, there's a bike trail that gets you there, well get too close to it and then you're on a two lane road but there's a bike path on it. You know, like on a shoulder it's for biking or walking. I promise you man, I'm going along on the right just going in a bike lane. Car flies in front of me quickly turns into a parking lot. Like there was no need to beat me to cause me to slow down so they could just pull in a parking lot. All they had to do is wait just like two seconds and I'm out of their way and I just looked at him I'm not gonna make a big scene but I just look at them thinking what what's the upside there? I run into you You hit me because you had to get in a parking lot mean it happens more often than I want to admit but I still love being on a bike and being on the road but you take that risk with Jason Do you think they're not watching they're not watching you

Sal Rodriguez:

think they didn't see you or they did indeed attempt to beat you are they

Jason Connell:

miss timed it and they didn't realize that I had to slow down I was going to faster speed than they you know I wasn't gonna I wouldn't have been killed I would have just ran into them and it would I would have been injured in my bike would have been messed up. But I don't think they were even registered. But this is different. This is on a main road. I'm assuming treats like he's cruising along,

Sal Rodriguez:

we figured at least 30 At least third at least

Jason Connell:

to say that 30 isn't a bike and this car probably see Sam and does a judgment and just shoots a Quick Left not giving him enough time to stop or move or anything. And the collision resulted in the actor striking the SUV and being thrown from the motorcycle. So didn't just go down. He hit it hard enough. Boom. heat treat is flying now. Airborne launched over the car in that vicinity. Who knows what else is happening other other cars come in? Is this happening. And despite wearing a helmet treat Williams was pronounced dead after being airlifted to Albany Medical Center in New York. The New York medical examiner determined that the cause of death was severe trauma and blood loss resulting from the crash. According to Vermont State Police. Again, my story was minor, right? But if this driver costs, waits, another few moments, it's averted. The whole thing is just waits bah bah, bah. Even if you can make it sell. What's the upside that you got in that parking lot a second sooner. You don't even know the stress even if treat was okay. And I wish that he was you're still causing stress to riders and drivers. It's like Hey, What's this guy doing? You know when you Don't know what someone's doing. Like, what's that all about? It could be a chain reaction. So I just shake my head I see far too many bad judgment, bad drivers. And unfortunately, this one caused a death. real tragedy,

Sal Rodriguez:

you know, because I think when people are out there and I see this as a former runner, I used to run marathons, I'd be out there on the streets of LA running. As a cyclist. I used to distance cycle as a pedestrian, as a motorist. I feel like there's a sort of, well, I'm in a car and you're on a motorcycle like we're enemies or, Oh, I'm a cyclist and you're a runner. We're enemies like, well, there's like the vehicle changes. Yeah, we're all in this together, folks. So we're all here pedestrian

Jason Connell:

you're walking. You should wait. i There is a hierarchy there. Really? We're all

Sal Rodriguez:

on the same team. It's not We're not against each other. And yet, I definitely feel like people are out there with that hierarchy in mind. What cars number one motorcycles. Number two cyclists. Number three. joggers. Number four, is that what it is pedestrians? Number five.

Jason Connell:

I don't get it. Trucks. semis are probably at the top of the food chain.

Sal Rodriguez:

I don't subscribe to any of this. I am about safety for all of us. I don't care if you're on a bike. If you're on a scooter. I don't care. Let's all make it home tonight. All of us. I mean, I really I don't subscribe to that. And I'm all these things. I'm a cyclist. I'm a runner. I'm a I'm a motorist. I'm a pedestrian and hope to be maybe one day a motorcyclist. I don't subscribe to all that stuff. I really believe in safety. I'm really, really big on looking out for each other.

Jason Connell:

Yeah, I totally agree. And I don't know what Ryan CASAS mindset was, but I do know that he could have waited a beat now maybe he didn't see the cyclist this can happen. See treat Williams approach not a bike. Yeah, there's lots of reasons. That's why it gets dubbed accident, right until you investigate further. Now, after the accident, a witness Matt Ripon claimed that treat Williams remained alert and even communicated with paramedics. He also recounted that the actor was wearing a helmet as I mentioned earlier, and witnessed the collision scene. Williams being launched into the air. So we saw this firsthand. I did not know he was communicating with the

Sal Rodriguez:

paramedic. Oh, because it gives you hope. You have some hope? Yeah.

Jason Connell:

Like okay, okay. Hope that guy's okay with you know, this is what I saw. Yeah, it makes my heart just oh my gosh, it's hard to hear it and knowing that he doesn't make it now in July 2023. So a month later, Ryan costs, who was unharmed and the crash voluntarily met with officials to be processed and charged with grossly negligent operation with death. Wow. Now, how about that you're big on crimes? I hadn't heard this particular language before. Had you?

Sal Rodriguez:

Not that specific language? Nope. grossly negligent operation with death? No, I haven't heard of that before that specifically that way now.

Jason Connell:

So on August 4, this month, 2023 cost is legal team released a statement and sound please go ahead.

Sal Rodriguez:

Cos is confident the facts will show I obeyed all relevant traffic laws. And the state's charges are unwarranted. Set his attorney Ian Carlton.

Jason Connell:

That's interesting. I did not know he had his own stance on it. I guess he's got a try. Yeah, this is interesting. This reading this today. I was like, Oh my gosh, we're gonna come on here. This was obviously a crime. And now it's a crime that's like, he obeyed all relevant traffic laws, like cut it in front of somebody. There's usually skid marks and they do all sorts of stuff. They have data on this, which we don't have. I mean, hell, there can be video, but I'm assuming not Dorsets pretty much a small rural New England town, there's probably not like cameras all over the place. But that's interesting that they're going to kind of try to battle this, if you will. So

Sal Rodriguez:

Jason, there's something I've been doing for many years, which is controversial, and I even have spoken to law enforcement about it. And that is taking a yellow. I take yellow lights. If I'm going forward, I take a yellow light. But what happens is people make left turns. All of a sudden they just make a left they see all the light turn red, maybe between they start to turn left. So even though I have the legal right, and I've spoken to law enforcement in California, I have the legal right we have the legal right to take a yellow light. Yeah, you do. You do. But people are making these left turns, you know, so we don't know in this instance, was a light we don't know if there was a light involved. Yeah, was trying to take a yellow. We don't know.

Jason Connell:

Now they made it sound like and my interpretation was he's going along and cos is trying to pull into some sort of establishment where there is not a light I think Light would have been referenced again, don't know, a lot of assumptions here. Now it gets strange. And I know you know this now because you've looked over some No,

Sal Rodriguez:

I know because you know what I know about the tragedy of treat Williams I do. A crime being involved news to me.

Jason Connell:

Yeah. But this right here, the connection is started to be like, Wait a second. So cos is the managing creative director of Dorset Theatre Festival, and performing arts theater that has produced new and classic plays for more than 30 years. Coincidentally, treat Williams had previously participated in several of these plays. This is one a small town gets smaller. Now costs also shared the following please, Sal, go ahead.

Sal Rodriguez:

Sorry, Jason. I'm really caught up in that. They, yeah, treat Williams had participated in some of these plays from the Dorset Theatre Festival, of which cost, Maddox was

Jason Connell:

the managing creative director. Yes. That all came to light today for me, like mind blown way to say

Sal Rodriguez:

this is like almost like Unsolved Mysteries. I mean, Jason, you and I talked about this. I'm not sure if we talked about it on that's a crime or one of our other shows. When a coincidence is too coincidental? Where it becomes weird, like why? Yeah, this is too close to home. Yeah, this is in that realm for sure. I am devastated by Mr. Williams, tragic passing. I have known treat for years, both as a member of this tight knit community and fellow theatre 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. That Jason sorry that I considered him a friend.

Jason Connell:

I No, doubt this for a second. I think there probably is a real kinship here. I do I absolutely do. However, if you do something that is questionable, and put someone else in danger, you still did it. Now this isn't someone that had premeditated and went off to murder someone. It's not that but it caused a fatal accident. And there are consequences. And so this is the first time we're covering this. I am anxious to see where this lands, because Ryan CASAS arraignment is scheduled for September 25 2023. So we're probably going to have more information at that point in time of what is going to happen. Will he be sentenced? And if he is what's that look like? Are they let him go free? And are the Williams pushing this to get justice, but they no cost? So it becomes complicated. And I don't want to lose sight of the fact that treat Williams is gone. And he's not coming back either way. And we miss him. And it's very, very tragic. But I still want to keep a close eye on this case.

Sal Rodriguez:

Jason, the word manslaughter. I always have the word manslaughter in my head. Yes. Because I grew up on that phrase. Well, it was ever Yeah, it seems like it's not really invoked much. I think this is one of those instances where the idea is you accidentally killed someone. You accidentally shot somebody and then there is some sort of consequence and penalty to pay for accidentally killing someone. Because I think when it comes to charges of manslaughter, the idea is there was some negligence on your part, which caused you to accidentally kill someone.

Jason Connell:

Well, that used to be drunk driving back in the 80s. Drunk Driving he hit someone killed them. He was manslaughter. That's what I always thought. But the charge was not manslaughter. It sounds much more severe than manslaughter. But again, we shall see a very, very tragic situation could have been averted. That's how I look at it sell. I just do I can't side with costs. I do understand that. There's remorse. There's like, love the guy. They were friends. But I seen enough drivers do things that are more selfish and not thinking about the end game. You know, even if you just pull something off, like, Hey, I barely made it out of this situation. It's like why? Because what's the upside you gain two seconds but someone could have been killed. And in this instance, someone was killed?

Sal Rodriguez:

No, Jason number one time I was on the freeway, and a motorcyclist appeared on my right and on my left on my immediate right and I'm on my immediate left. This is like chips. I felt stuck. I felt trapped. Yeah, but guess what? I didn't move. Now I didn't move because I knew if I did. One of these guys could have been killed even though I felt I was in the right. I was in the right I did nothing wrong. One of these guys could be killed. So even though I'm annoyed I need to look out because these guys are vulnerable.

Jason Connell:

Here's what you do in that situation, slow it down. Let him go in front of you, but good job. Very scary. I know. I mean, listen, and California lanes flooding is legal, and they're cruising. And they almost want you to be looking for them even when people are going like 40. Or we're starting to slow down, which is tough. lane splitting is the responsibilities on everybody. But motorcyclists almost put the responsibility on cars. And if you're getting over illegally getting over and here comes in lane splitter, who's a little bit more rambunctious. Hey, man, there's a lot of fatalities in California freeways. So it is a scary place if you're not looking out. I mean, we got six lanes, you know, lots happening. I remember vividly. But even on these two lane roads sell in New England, things happen. And it's scary. So rest in peace treat Williams, I want to go back and see the movies I've missed. Revisit the ones that I love and enjoy. See the DB Cooper movie Sal and come on. That's a crime and maybe even let's talk movies and really revisited but we lost him far too early, he probably would have been in another 120 movies and shows. And like I said, we'll keep an eye on this case and see what comes of it and come back and do an update episode.

Sal Rodriguez:

Yeah, I'm looking forward to an update. And this is one of those things where like, I don't have hatred in my heart for Ryan, I do believe this was an accident. He did not intend to do this. Now. So it will be interesting to see how this all pans out what sort of sentence he receives. And then of that sentence, I realized about follow up when we have these updates. On one hand, we may have a verdict on one hand, we may have a sentencing. But then long term, you have then probation parole, right, I would imagine that he will receive maybe a five year sentence, and then it will be sort of what do they call it? Where they just kind of throw it out? And I think he's gonna be on his way. I don't think that he will serve any prison time. I don't think so.

Jason Connell:

Yeah, I could see that could be on his record and have long probation. Yeah, but who knows? I just want to see what comes of it. These types of cases. Justice will never be served. Treat should still be with us. So I mean, there's that and I don't think the family's like cosmos died again. I think it was an accident. And that's why a fitting title for it. But it's just unfortunate and something he'll He'll serve something in some way. probation, fines, lose his license, I'm not sure. But we will come back and see Sal, anything else?

Sal Rodriguez:

No, I was just gonna say that that whole angle about their paths had met prior. Yeah, it's interesting. Yeah, it is extra strange. It's almost like this is almost in another category. It's not just a crime. It's not just a fatality. It's not just the tragedy. There. So homeless, some other strange Unsolved Mysteries angle they're almost mysterious, almost supernatural.

Jason Connell:

Yeah, a little bit, a little bit. Well go to Dorset and you'll see. So that covers the True Crime Story of Trent Williams fatal motorcycle accident in 2023. So thank you so much for listening. And please be sure to subscribe to the that's a crime podcast and the that's a crime YouTube Live Channel. You can also really help us by giving the show a five star rating on Apple podcast.

Sal Rodriguez:

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Jason Connell:

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