Police to travel to US to interview Anne Sacoolas in Harry Dunn collision case

Police will be travelling from the UK as soon as their visas are ready.

October 22, 2019, 6:06 AM

LONDON -- The U.K. police department in charge of investigating the traffic collision that killed a British teenager, sparking a diplomatic row, said that they will be traveling to the United States to interview Anne Sacoolas, the American diplomat's wife believed to be involved in the crash.

Chief Constable Nick Adderley of Northamptonshire Police announced at a press conference Tuesday that their officers would be traveling across the pond to interview the suspect, although they did not name her in the press conference.

“The suspect has cooperated fully with police and authorities and requested to be interviewed by British police officers under caution in the United States," Adderley said. “She did not want to provide a pre-prepared statement, as is her right. As soon as we have the visas available officers from Northamptonshire police will be traveling to the United States.”

Adderley told reporters that police would still not be naming the suspect because she had not yet given a full account of what happened with the collision.

Harry Dunn was riding his motorcycle along a roadway in the village of Croughton, England, on the night of Aug. 27, when a car traveling in the opposite direction on the wrong side of the road hit him head-on. The 19-year-old was taken to a hospital in the nearby city of Oxford, where he died soon after, according to Northamptonshire Police.

The crash occurred less than a mile down the road from Royal Air Force Croughton, commonly known as RAF Croughton, which is a British military station that houses an intelligence-gathering base operated by the United States Air Force. Sacoolas, whose husband is a U.S. diplomat assigned to the United Kingdom, is believed to have been the one driving the car.

Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, parents of British teen Harry Dunn who was killed in a car crash on his motorcycle, allegedly by the wife of an American diplomat, speak in New York City on October 15, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo
Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Northamptonshire Police are treating Sacoolas as a suspect in the fatal crash investigation. She fled the United Kingdom after apparently claiming diplomatic immunity, which protects diplomats and their family members from prosecution or lawsuits under the host nation's laws.

Dunn's family have repeatedly called on Sacoolas to come back to face the U.K. investigation.

U.S. President Donald Trump himself spoke out about the incident, describing it as a “terrible accident” while conceding it was a “very complex issue” due to Sacoolas’ claim of diplomatic immunity earlier this month.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said that Sacoolas is no longer covered by diplomatic immunity since she fled the country.

"We have pressed strongly for a waiver of immunity, so that justice can be done in Harry's case," Raab wrote in a letter to Dunn’s parents seen by ABC News early October. "Whilst the U.S. government has steadfastly declined to give that waiver, that is not the end of the matter."

But at Tuesday's police press conference, which Adderley described as “fairly unprecedented” at this stage in an investigation, the chief constable said their sole aim was to make sure justice was done, despite the diplomatic furor that was prompted by the incident, which culminated last week with a brief meeting between Dunn's parents and Trump at the White House.

“Forget the immunity, from the police’s point of view we have to make sure we maintain the integrity of all the evidence,” Adderley told reporters. “Should we get to the point of extradition we want to insure she has a fair trial.”

Sacoolas returning to the United States “frustrates the investigation, but does not stop it,” he added.

The diplomat's wife has issued a written apology to Dunn's family. The teen's mother, Charlotte Charles, described it as "not strong enough."

"I think she needs to just face what she's done," Charles told ABC News in an interview earlier this month. "We're a normal family and we're not out for revenge."

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