Treat Williams was "alert" and conscious and talking to paramedics before succumbing to his injuries after being thrown from his motorcycle onto a pavement in a crash on Monday, a witness said. The actor, 71, was rushed to the Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, with critical injuries before being pronounced dead, according to state police.
"He was totally alert, answering questions," Matt Rapphahn, the owner of Long Trail Auto, which is adjacent to the crash site in Dorset, Vt., told the Daily Mail Wednesday. Rapphahn said that at the time of the accident, he was standing directly outside his store.
Tragic Final Moments
Ryan Koss was turning into the auto shop parking lot on Route 30 in his Honda Element SUV when he struck Williams throwing him off his motorcycle. "I saw Treat go flying through the air," Rapphahn, 29, recalled, adding that the "Everwood" star was wearing a helmet. "The tire was still spinning."
The 71-year-old Golden Globe-nominated actor was transported to the hospital with serious wounds before being declared dead on Monday in Vermont.
According to reports made public by the Vermont State Police, Williams had no chance as the Honda swerved over the northbound lane of the V-30 and into his $3,500 motorcycle.
Koss, 35, attempted to make a left turn onto Morse Hill Road into a parking lot and came to a stop as he indicated at around 4:53 pm.
He wasn't transported to the hospital and hasn't been detained by police despite being "checked by medical personnel at the scene for minor injuries."
Police said Koss was not drunk as they probe who was to blame for the fatal accident.
It is quite likely that Williams and Koss knew each other because Koss worked at the theater where Williams performed American Buffalo in 2017. The police report states that "Williams was unable to avoid a collision and was thrown from his motorcycle."
Data from the Vermont Agency of Transportation shows that there have been five incidents on that particular stretch of road in the past 12 years. Three of these incidents resulted in injuries, but only Williams was pronounced dead.
Koss' car sustained significant damage to the front-end passenger side, while Williams' 1986 Honda VT700c motorcycle suffered front-end damage.
The owner of a shop noted that Koss had an appointment to bring his SUV for a state inspection sticker, and Koss' husband arrived in another car to pick him up.
No Chance of Survival
Williams suffered critical injuries despite wearing a helmet and was airlifted to Albany Medical Center in New York, where he was later pronounced dead.
Following the crash, a crowd quickly gathered around the scene, offering help. Among them was a nurse who lived in a house nearby. Rapphahn, the shop owner, took charge of directing traffic until the emergency crews arrived.
"He was totally laid out, and they were asking him basic questions, like 'do you know where you are,' and 'what's your wife's name,' that kind of stuff," Rapphahn recalled. "And he was responsive. He seemed like he was awake the whole time because, obviously, when they had to move him, you could see he was in a great deal of pain. They loaded him up into the ambulance and drove off."
"Honestly, I was pretty hopeful that he was going to pull through," Rapphahn said.
Rapphahn mentioned that Williams was a regular customer at his shop. Williams had a passion for classic cars and motorcycles and would often bring his vehicles in for repairs and restoration work.
Williams, a longtime resident of Manchester, Vermont, had a close friendship with actor Alec Baldwin.
According to community members, Williams played a significant role in persuading Baldwin to relocate to the area.
Baldwin purchased an old farmhouse in Arlington, only a 20-minute drive from Williams' residence, last year.
Just hours before the tragic incident, Williams, best known for his performances in Everwood and Hair, was enjoying his weekend by mowing the lawn at his $1 million Vermont home.
Williams was married to actress Pam Van Sant, and the couple had two children named Gille and Ellie. They often shared glimpses of their serene country life on social media, giving fans a glimpse into their idyllic surroundings.
Ellie, their daughter, expressed her profound grief on Instagram, posting a photo of her parents alongside the heartbreaking message, "This is a pain I have never felt. I am absolutely shattered."