Anne Sacoolas fled the UK after being involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident.
On August 27th, 2019, 19-year-old Harry Dunn was killed in an accident when the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a Volvo XC90 SUV driving on the wrong side of the road.
The Volvo in question was being driven by Anne Sacoolas, wife to U.S. diplomat Johnathan Sacoolas. Anne had just turned out of Royal Air Force Base Croughton and traveled in the wrong lane for about 400 yards before striking Harry’s motorcycle. Harry suffered multiple injuries and died a short time after being taken to John Radcliffe Hospital.
While Anne was initially cooperative with authorities and stated she had no plans to leave the country, it was recently discovered that she fled back to the U.S. on the advice from senior State Department officials.
Anne claimed diplomatic immunity and was allowed to leave the country, even though she was involved in an on-going investigation. The Northamptonshire Police attempted to stop Anne from leaving, but their efforts were declined.
Now the family is seeking justice, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes they deserve it. “I do not think it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose.” Johnson was quoted saying.
The issue has already been raised by Dominic Raab, the First Secretary of State, with the U.S. ambassador, Woody Johnson. However, it appears the U.S. is reluctant to waive immunity, allowing Anne to remain in the states, further avoiding criminal proceedings.
Anne Sacoolas is from South Carolina, and had only been at RAF Croughton for three weeks, at the time of the accident. Her husband had been stationed there for duties involving the Joint Intelligence Analysis Center.
Croughton serves as a joint base for the RAF and United States Air Force, where they share missions involving communications. Owing to a deal struck in 1994, diplomatic immunity is granted to those who are stationed at Croughton, as well as to their families.
Due to this deal, Anne Sacoolas is within her legal boundaries to flee the country and return to her home state, but that doesn’t mean the public is content about it. With pressure mounting from the outside, the U.K. government is being hardpressed to get Anne Sacoolas back to England to face due process.
The U.S. State Department had this to say about a potential waiver of immunity: “Questions regarding a waiver of 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.” They did offer their sympathies and condolences, however.
It seems the Prime Minister may have to come through on his word and make a call to his pal Donald Trump. As stated by PM Johnson, ” if we can’t resolve it then of course I will be raising it myself personally with the White House.”