Lawsuit in US targets diplomat's wife in fatal crash in UK
The family of a British teenager killed in a motorcycle crash has filed a lawsuit in Virginia against the wife of a U.S. diplomat who left England after allegedly causing the crash
By MATTHEW BARAKAT Associated Press September 9, 2020, 5:39 PM
2 min read
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FALLS CHURCH, Va. — The family of a British teenager killed in a motorcycle crash has filed a lawsuit in Virginia against a U.S. diplomat’s wife who left England after allegedly causing the crash. Anne Sacoolas claimed diplomatic immunity after the August 2019 crash that claimed the life of Harry Dunn, 19. She left the U.K. along with her husband, Jonathan, a U.S. intelligence officer at RAF Croughton, a military base in central England used by U.S. forces.
Anne Sacoolas was driving on the wrong side of the road when she struck Dunn’s motorcycle head-on, authorities said. British authorities subsequently filed criminal charges against Anne Sacoolas and sought her extradition, but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected the extradition request in January and said his decision is final.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, the Dunn family’s lawyers said they filed the civil suit because the Sacoolases fled justice in England. “Anne Sacoolas promised to cooperate with the British police in the investigation of the accident.
But rather than stay in the United Kingdom, where she and her husband were living and working, Defendant Anne Sacoolas fled to the United States,” the lawyers wrote. A phone call to a phone number associated with Anne Sacoolas went unanswered Wednesday. The lawsuit says the Sacoolases are now living in Herndon, a northern Virginia suburb outside the nation’s capital.
Both Anne Sacoolas and her husband are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages for wrongful death, negligence and other causes. According to the lawsuit, Anne Sacoolas was driving her Volvo SUV on the wrong side of the road near the Croughton base when she struck Dunn. The lawsuit said she’d been living in England for several weeks by then and should have been acclimated to driving on the left side of the road.
The lawsuit alleges that she did not call an ambulance and it was a passerby who arrived several minutes later who called for help.
The case caused outrage in England.
Last month a British lawmaker proposed a criminal trial for Sacoolas to be conducted virtually or in absentia given the U.S. refusal to extradite.
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