CBS News is reporting that the wife of a US diplomat has fled the UK after causing a fatal accident (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/harry-dunn-crash-us-diplomat-wife-flees-uk-fatal-car-collision-diplomatic-immunity-2019-10-06/).
19-year-old Harry Dunn of the UK died when he was hit and killed while riding his motorcycle by 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas, who is the wife of US diplomat Jonathan Sacoolas. At the time of the crash, Sacoolas was driving on the wrong side of the road in the UK Town of Croughton. The young man was rushed to a hospital in Oxford, but ultimately died due to the injuries he sustained in the crash.
After the fatal accident, Sacoolas left the UK and returned to the US. The US Embassy in London says she is claiming her diplomatic immunity in connection with the incident. Her husband, Jonathan Sacoolas, works in an Air Force communication station base in the Royal Air Force in Croughton.
Dunn’s family is devastated by the loss of their child and wants Sacoolas to return to the UK and cooperate with the police investigating the case there. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has reportedly spoken to President Donald Trump about the extradition of the diplomat’s wife, but so far his efforts have been unsuccessful.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK party opposing Johnson’s, said that the use of diplomatic immunity in this case is completely unacceptable. Corbyn also publicly raised the idea of taking legal action against the US in the face of their refusal to extradite Sacoolas.
Family members of the victim met with Dominic Raab, the UK Foreign Secretary, but they expressed disappointment with both the US and UK governments in the wake of this tragic accident. According to reports, Tim Dunn, the victim’s father, was upset that the respective governments seemed to think it was “okay” for a person to kill someone and just walk away without facing any consequences.
The UK police are still working on the case and have announced that they will expedite getting all the relevant information to the prosecutor there. According to Sarah Johnson, the Northamptonshire Superintendent, all normal procedures were followed immediately after the crash. Johnson said the police engaged with Sacoolas following the accident, and she told them that she did not have any plans to leave the UK.
Unfortunately for the Dunn family, the involvement of diplomatic immunity and red tape between the two countries may mean that they will not be able to get justice for their young son. Currently, the Dunn family is appealing to the media to shine a spotlight on their case in hopes to receive some sort of resolution, but it’s too early to tell if their efforts will have any impact.
If you have been involved in a serious accident caused by someone else, you have the right to seek compensation for your pain, suffering, and losses stemming from the accident. This includes your time away from work, medical bills, and other losses due to your injuries. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer, like a motorcycle accident lawyer in Denver, CO, about what happened to you as soon as you can.
Thanks to the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into what can be asked for in regards to compensation from a car or motorcycle accident.