Cops: Woman Who Killed Teen Used Diplomatic Immunity to Flee

Woman said to be wife of US diplomat had told UK police she had no plans to leave country
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2019 7:42 AM CDT
US Woman Used Diplomatic Immunity to Flee UK After Fatal Crash: Cops
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Salvatore De Cicco)

She told UK police she wasn't planning on leaving the country after a car crash in which a teen was killed. Now, the parents of Harry Dunn are pleading with the wife of a US diplomat to return to England so they can "get some peace" after cops say she claimed diplomatic immunity and fled. Business Insider reports the woman, identified by Sky News and the BBC as 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas, is suspected of slamming into the 19-year-old Dunn in late August as he rode his motorcycle near a Royal Air Force base in Northamptonshire. Sacoolas is said to have been driving on the wrong side of the road when the collision occurred. "The suspect ... had previously confirmed to us that she had no plans to leave the country in the near future," Northamptonshire Police say in a statement, adding that they're "now exploring all opportunities" to keep the investigation going.

Diplomats and family members can claim immunity as long as they're not nationals in their host country as well. The US can choose to waive diplomatic immunity in this case, which UK officials have urged it to do, but such waivers aren't common. The US Embassy confirms the suspect has indeed left the UK, though it's not clear when. Dunn's family says it's "appalling" and "inhumane." "It's basically saying you can do what you like and you'll be OK ... That can't be right," his father tells the news outlet. The teen's family has set up a GoFundMe to support them as they launch a "Justice for Harry" campaign to prevent others from committing crimes and claiming diplomatic immunity. "If we don't get justice, we'll try and use money to get the law changed," Dunn's father tells Sky. (More diplomat stories.)

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