Treat Williams' Motorcycle Crash Witness Says Seeing Accident Was a 'Traumatic Experience'

The actor died after being airlifted to a hospital following a motorcycle accident in Vermont on Monday.

Details are still surfacing regarding the fatal motorcycle accident that claimed the life of Treat Williams. The actor died Monday at Albany Medical Center in New York after being airlifted away in a helicopter from the collision in Vermont.

On Wednesday, a witness to the tragic accident, Matt Rapphahn, shared his recollection of the events, telling ET's Kevin Frazier that he heard tires screeching and then a loud crash, which occurred around 5 p.m. Monday on Route 30 by Long Trail Auto near the southwestern Vermont town of Dorset. The crash involved Williams' motorcycle and a 2008 Honda SUV.

Rapphahn, the owner of Long Trail Auto, said he saw Williams "flying over the hood of the car and then" landing on the ground, though he didn't initially realize it was Williams, who Rapphahn said he's known for the last few years.

"And I ran over to assess the situation and then I just stopped and ran back because I was like, 'I gotta call 911,'" Rapphahn tells ET. "The driver of the vehicle exited the vehicle, and his husband, I believe, had already pulled into the parking lot. They were customers. They were dropping their car off to have worked on the next day."

Rapphahn said he made the 911 call and then rushed back to Williams.

"At that point, we had realized that it was Treat Williams, who is a friend of mine of the business and we kind of stepped into action," Rapphahn continues. "My whole thing was, let's make sure we don't move him. Make sure he doesn't try to get up ... and then traffic was coming like crazy. So, I started directing traffic."

In the seconds and minutes that followed the accident, Rapphahn said Williams "was verbal" and "conscious" from the moment of impact until he was taken away by ambulance.

"He was verbal," Rapphahn says. "He was alert and hearing and he was conscious."

That he was conscious and responsive had Rapphahn feeling like the actor would survive the accident.

"I was like, you know, he's a tough guy. He's gonna pull through," Rapphahn says. "We felt absolutely gutted when we found that out, you know. I think it was later that night that the first news had been broken and it's just a traumatic experience to witness that and [to know] it's a friend."

Rapphahn expanded on the connection he had with Williams, saying he first met Williams about four years ago when the actor brought his Harley-Davidson motorcycle to his body paint shop to have some work done.

"He came and picked the bike up and it was just a good time," Rapphahn says. "He's got a lot of classic cars so we had a lot of common interests. I'm a total gear head, car guy, and so anybody that's into the same stuff as me we could just talk forever about cars, trucks motorcycles. And he would come down to the shop and we tinkered on a couple of cars, and we were making plans just a few weeks ago to do some more work and some more projects. So a lot of stuff has been left on the table. It's just awful. It's an awful tragedy because he's a really nice guy, and I'm getting a lot of people stopping into the shop now and it's just further validating because I'm hearing a lot of different stories. It's really hard to hear all of that. It's just a very sad time."

Investigators believe the driver of the car was turning left into a parking lot and didn’t see the motorcycle. The driver had his turn signal on, according to police. 

"Williams was unable to avoid a collision and was thrown from his motorcycle. He suffered critical injuries and was airlifted to Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, where he was pronounced dead," Vermont State Police told ET on Tuesday.

Williams was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. Authorities are waiting on further details of Williams' condition before his death from medical examiners. 

The driver of the SUV sustained minor injuries but was not hospitalized. The investigation is ongoing, but the driver was not detained by authorities and was deemed to not be impaired at the time of the accident. 

Barry McPherson, Williams’ agent of 15 years, tells ET, "Treat was killed yesterday afternoon. His motorcycle was going straight and a SUV cut in front of him. I'm just devastated. He was the nicest guy. He was so talented. He was an actor's actor. Filmmakers loved him. He's been the heart of Hollywood since the late 1970s. He was really proud of his performance this year. He's been so happy with the work that I got him. He's had a balanced career."

"He was a wonderful guy, friend and actor and beloved by so many other actors," McPherson said. 

After news of Williams' tragic death was released, co-stars, fellow actors and fans alike flooded social media, sharing tributes to the beloved actor