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Celebrity deaths are often shocking, especially when they’re sudden and unexpected. Treat Williams, a Hollywood actor since the 1970s, died on June 12 after a motorcycle crash in Vermont. The fatal accident remains under investigation. But one thing is clear: His death comes when motorcycle fatalities are at their highest

What have authorities said about Treat Williams’ motorcycle accident?

Williams died of injuries related to a motorcycle crash. According to authorities, the 71-year-old actor was alert and “answering questions” immediately after the June 12 collision. Vermont police released a statement about what caused the accident, noting “a southbound 2008 Honda Element … attempted to turn left into a parking lot.”

The SUV “stopped, signaled a left turn, and then turned into the path of a northbound 1986 Honda VT700c motorcycle operated by Williams.” Authorities added that the actor “was unable to avoid a collision and was thrown from his motorcycle.” As a result, he “suffered critical injuries.” Williams was pronounced dead at Albany Medical Center in New York.

The driver of the Element, 35-year-old Ryan Koss of Dorset, Vermont, will be charged with gross negligence in the crash. Koss was issued a citation for “grossly negligent operation causing death,” state police said. “He was released and ordered to appear in court in September to be formally charged,” the AP reports.

Motorcycle deaths are rising

Although riders take to the open road on motorcycles daily, statistics indicate the hobby is becoming riskier.

In 2020, the most recent year for which data is available, 82,528 motorcycle riders sustained injuries, with 5,579 of those accidents fatal. That’s the highest number since 1975, when the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) began.

August is statistically the most dangerous time for motorcyclists. According to FARS, 14% of all deadly motorcycle crashes happen that month. January is the least dangerous, with only 3% of fatalities occurring. Arguably, that’s because the warmer months see more riders than the colder months.

In addition, more than a third of motorcycle accidents involve unlicensed drivers. Furthermore, failure to wear a helmet is one of the most significant risk factors for motorcycle riders. Other risk factors include speeding and driving while intoxicated.

Interestingly, fewer motorcycle crashes occur during rainy conditions, likely because stormy weather deters riding in the first place.

Williams was famous for film and TV projects

Born in 1951, Treat Williams began acting as a young man. He received praise for his work in the critically acclaimed movie Hair in the late ’70s. During the ’80s, he continued his rise to stardom, appearing in movies such as Prince of the City, Flashpoint, Smooth Talk, and Dead Heat. The ensuing years saw him continue acting on the big screen, but television solidified his fame.

Fans loved the Primetime Emmy-nominated actor for his roles on TV shows such as Hallmark’s Chesapeake Shores and The WB’s Everwood. Williams’ effortless charm and matinee-idol good looks drew fans of all ages. His most recent stint was as Lenny Ross in the Tom Selleck-led drama Blue Bloods

Williams, whose funeral service was held June 20, is survived by his wife of more than three decades and their two children.


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