U.S. Diplomat's Wife Accused of Killing U.K. Teen in Crash Claims Immunity, Flees the Country

Anne Sacoolas has allegedly claimed diplomatic immunity

Harry Dunn
Photo: Peter Summers/Getty

The wife of a U.S. diplomat is accused of using diplomatic immunity to flee a police investigation in the U.K. after she allegedly struck and killed a motorcyclist while driving on the wrong side of the road.

South Carolina-born Anne Sacoolas flew out of the U.K. shortly after the auto-accident on Aug. 27 that killed Harry Dunn, 19, despite allegedly telling police she had “no plans to leave the country in the near future,” according to Northamptonshire Police.

Dunn’s family has led the calls for Sacoolas to return, describing her actions as “dishonorable”.

“We are not out to get her put behind bars. If that’s what the justice system ends up doing then we can’t stop that but we’re not out to do that, we’re out to try and get some peace for ourselves,” Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles told the BBC.

The fatal accident occurred close to US Air Force communications station, RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire at around 8.30 PM, when a black Volvo XC90 collided with Dunn’s black Kawasaki motorcycle. Dunn died in hospital a short while later.

The U.S. State Department confirmed Saturday in an e-mailed statement that the crash involved “a vehicle driven by the spouse of a US diplomat assigned to the United Kingdom” and extended “deepest sympathies” to Dunn’s family.

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According to reports, the police have CCTV footage allegedly showing Sacoolas driving out of the RAF base on the wrong side of the road.

“Harry had no chance,” Charles told Sky News, Monday about the footage. “She traveled on 350 to 400 yards on the wrong side of the road.”

It was not immediately clear if Sacoolas has retained an attorney who could comment on her behalf.

The family’s cause has picked up the support of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Monday, who said the U.K. government has already raised the matter of waiving Sacoolas’ diplomatic immunity — something the State Department said is “rarely” done — with US ambassador Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson.

“If we can’t resolve it then… I will be raising it myself with the White House,” Johnson told the BBC.

“I do not think that it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose,” the prime minister added.

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