British police will travel to the US to interview Anne Sacoolas, the woman who was involved in the crash that killed teenager Harry Dunn, it was announced Tuesday.
“As soon as the visas are ready, officers will head to the US to interview Anne Sacoolas under caution,” said Nick Adderley, chief constable of Northamptonshire police, at a press conference. “Under caution” means the interview can be used against the suspect.
Dunn, 19, was killed August 27 in Croughton, central England, which is home to a Royal Air Force station controlled by the US Air Force. UK police say he was riding a motorcycle when he was struck by a vehicle that was traveling on the wrong side of the road.
UK police said Sacoolas, who is the wife of a US diplomat, claimed diplomatic immunity in the aftermath of the incident that killed Dunn and left the country three weeks later.
Sacoolas’ attorney said that officers interviewed Sacoolas in the UK twice before she claimed immunity. But, police say, after it was triggered they were unable to act further, explained Adderley.
There was “nothing more” they could do at that stage, he said on Tuesday.
Dunn’s family want Sacoolas to voluntarily return to the UK or be extradited.
“She needs to just do the right thing and just come back and face what she’s done,” Charlotte Charles, Dunn’s mother, told reporters last Monday. “Face us as a broken family. Face our UK (legal) system and just do the right thing.”
Adderley said authorities would need to determine “if the charges trigger the appropriateness of extradition.”
On October 15, attorney Amy Jeffress, who is representing Sacoolas, released a statement expressing remorse for the tragedy.
“Anne was driving on the wrong side of the road and is terribly, terribly sorry for that tragic mistake. Neither she nor Harry Dunn’s family will ever be the same because of it. She wants to meet with the family to apologize and take responsibility.”
The British government had been made aware that Sacoolas was planning to flee the country, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told lawmakers in the House of Commons on Monday.
“We were made aware, I think it was a day or two before, and we registered our strong objections,” Raab told the House of Commons, adding that it would have been “unlawful to arrest her” under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
US President Donald Trump also got involved in the row, meeting Dunn’s parents at the White House when they traveled to the US last week.
However they said they were left “extremely angry” and felt they had been “taken advantage of.”
The family called the meeting a highly choreographed encounter in which Trump presented them with an unexpected offer to meet Sacoolas.
The family says that Trump surprised them with the “bombshell” news that Sacoolas was in an adjoining room. Photographers were waiting in the wings, said a family spokesman, who described the encounter as an ambush.
However, the family would not meet with Sacoolas and has said they will only do that after she has returned to Britain to face the legal system.
The family says that Trump did not promise to return Sacoolas to the UK.
President Trump has said that he understands the Dunn family’s anger and called it a “tragic accident.”
“It happens in Europe as the roads are opposite, it’s tough if you’re from the United States, you do make that right turn when you are supposed to make a left turn, the roads are opposite. She says that is what happened. That happens to a lot of people by the way.”