Pictured: US diplomat's wife who fled UK after fatal crash which killed Harry Dunn

7 October 2019, 19:07

Anna Sacoolas has been named as the US diplomat's wife who fled the country after a fatal crash which killed Harry Dunn
Anna Sacoolas has been named as the US diplomat's wife who fled the country after a fatal crash which killed Harry Dunn. Picture: Facebook

By Kate Buck

This is the first picture of a US diplomat's wife who left the UK after being involved in a fatal crash which killed a British teenager.

Anne Sacoolas, 42, claimed diplomatic immunity after allegedly crashing head-on into 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on 27 August.

Ms Sacoolas is believed to have been driving on the wrong side of the road.

Northamptonshire's most senior police officer has since written to the US Embassy in "the strongest terms" to apply a waiver and "allow the justice process to take place".

Boris Johnson has urged the US to reconsider its decision to give immunity to Ms Sacoolas.

Vowing to raise Harry's case with the White House if necessary, Mr Johnson said: "I do not think it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose."

Ms Sacoolas is understood to have told police she would remain in the UK before fleeing
Ms Sacoolas is understood to have told police she would remain in the UK before fleeing. Picture: FAcdebook

Speaking to reporters during a visit to a hospital in Watford, the Prime Minister said: "I think everybody's sympathies are very much with the family of Harry Dunn and our condolences to them for their tragic loss.

"I must answer you directly, I do not think that it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose.

"And I hope that Anne Sacoolas will come back and will engage properly with the processes of law as they are carried out in this country.

"That's a point that we've raised or are raising today with the American ambassador here in the UK and I hope it will be resolved very shortly.

"And to anticipate a question you might want to raise, if we can't resolve it then of course I will be raising it myself personally with the White House."

The US embassy in London confirmed the incident had involved a vehicle driven by the spouse of a US diplomat who had departed the country, but added that diplomatic immunity was "rarely waived".

In a statement, the embassy said: "We express our deepest sympathies and offer condolences to the family of the deceased in this tragic traffic accident.

"Any questions regarding a waiver of the immunity with regard to our diplomats and their family members overseas in a case like this receive intense attention at senior levels and are considered carefully given the global impact such decisions carry; immunity is rarely waived.

Harry Dunn, 19, died after being hit head-one while he was on his motorbike
Harry Dunn, 19, died after being hit head-one while he was on his motorbike. Picture: Facebook
The US diplomat's wife is reported to have been driving on the wrong side of the road
The US diplomat's wife is reported to have been driving on the wrong side of the road. Picture: Facebook

"The US embassy has been and will continue to be in close contact with appropriate British officials."

Downing Street confirmed Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had spoken with the US ambassador Woody Johnson and said he would be raising the case with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Referring to the diplomat's wife, Mr Adderley said: "During the initial investigation we were given some assurances by the American authorities that she would co-operate fully with the police and ... that she would not be leaving the community, and would not be leaving the country, and then the next minute we found out that, actually, she and her family had left.

"So, it was really disappointing."

Harry's mother Charlotte Charles said: "We're not a horrible family. We're a usual UK family that just need to put a face to what we have now as a name.

"Talk to her, find out how she's feeling. She's got to be suffering as well - she's a mum.

"Without knowing who this person is properly, we can't begin to try and start our grieving process."

Ms Charles said: "If we have to we will go to Washington. We don't want it to have to come to that, we don't see why it should have to come to that... we just want to sit and talk with her.

"We just don't understand how you can just get on a plane and leave behind the devastation she has without even speaking to us or facing us, or an apology of any kind."

The teenager's father Tim Dunn said: "It's appalling. You can't have this precedent where just because you have this immunity you can do whatever."

Happening Now