US Driver Faces Trial in Death of UK Teen

US Driver Faces Trial in Death of UK Teen

( – British prosecutors say an American woman who killed a British teenager will appear in court by video link. The case caused public outrage in the UK, which has pulled diplomatic immunity from the families of US officials as a result.

On August 27, 2019, US citizen Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a CIA officer at a listening station in Northamptonshire, was driving on the wrong side of the road when she hit and killed Harry Dunn, a 19-year-old motorcyclist. Police interviewed Sacoolas the next day, and she admitted her error, which was also caught by CCTV cameras. But then, she claimed she had diplomatic immunity and flew out of the country from a USAF base.

Sacoolas was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, but the US refused to extradite her. On February 16, 2021, a federal judge, T. S. Ellis III, ruled the Dunn family could sue Sacoolas in a US court. He brutally dismissed her claims accepting responsibility for Dunn’s death, telling her that accepting responsibility means facing the consequences of her actions.

Meanwhile, the Crown Prosecution Service is pushing ahead with its criminal case, and on Monday announced that Sacoolas – who has a 2006 Virginia conviction for careless driving – will appear in court by video link on January 18. Sacoolas’s lawyers deny this and say she hasn’t agreed to appear, but Britain’s patience is running out.

Should we keep annoying our closest ally just to help one woman evade justice? And was diplomatic immunity really designed for cases like this?

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