On Monday, June 12, 2023, at about 4:53 p.m. local time in Dorset, Vermont, motorcyclist and actor Treat Williams was killed in a fatal motorcycle crash on Vermont Route 30 near Morse Hill Road. He was riding his 1986 Honda VT700C Shadow in clear weather conditions when an SUV decided to turn left across the bike’s path of travel to reach a parking lot. 

According to the Vermont State Police report, “Williams was unable to avoid a collision and was thrown from his motorcycle.” Although he was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, he suffered critical injuries that required him to be airlifted to Albany Medical Center in nearby Albany, New York. He was pronounced dead at the medical center. Richard Treat Williams was 71 years old, and lived in Manchester Center, Vermont at the time of his death.  

Williams was a well-liked actor on both stage and screen, with screen credits dating back to 1975. Notable screen work includes Hair, Once Upon a Time in America, Tales from the Crypt, Batman: The Animated Series, Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, Deep Rising, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, and much more. Major TV roles include Dr. Andrew “Andy” Brown on the series Everwood, Benny Severide in the series Chicago Fire, Mick O’Brien on the series Chesapeake Shores, and Lenny Ross on the series Blue Bloods

His agent, Barry McPherson, told People Magazine that Williams was “the nicest guy,” and that “he was an actor’s actor. Filmmakers loved him. He’s been the heart of Hollywood since the late 1970s.” Before he was an actor, though, he was also a pilot. Although plenty of actors eventually decide to become pilots, as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association pointed out, Williams did it the other way around. 

As the story goes, Williams picked up two lifelong loves during his high school years: flying and acting. His high school football coach also happened to be a pilot, and he offered to teach Williams to fly in 1969 in a Piper Super Cub. He went on to become a private pilot at age 21, eventually adding a flight instructor certificate, a Cessna Citation type rating, and thousands of hours of flight time logged, including 1,000 hours in helicopters as of 2011. 

He was well-known in Albany, New York, where he frequently flew through that airport. In 2019, federal airport security staff and air traffic controllers at that airport were performing their duties without pay during a government shutdown. Williams wanted to thank those staff for their work, so he had a slew of Vermont-made breakfast supplies shipped in and made everyone breakfast, according to the Albany Times-Union

Williams is survived by his wife, Pam Van Sant, and his two children, Gill and Ellie, as well as friends, colleagues, and fans of his work around the world. 

We at RideApart send our deepest condolences to Williams’ family and all who cared about him. We also implore all drivers to look twice before turning in any direction. According to the Vermont State Police report, the driver of the SUV said that they did not see Williams and his motorcycle approaching before they made their turn. Looking twice really can save lives. 

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