Family of British Teen Reaches Settlement With U.S. Diplomat After Fatal Car Accident

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Anne Sacoolas was charged with the death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn in 2019 while she was a State Department employee. Police said she was driving in the wrong direction on the road.

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LONDON – The family of a 19-year-old British motorcyclist has reached a resolution with the US State Department employee who fatally hit him with his car two years ago, the latest development in a case that has sparked diplomatic ties between Britain and the United Kingdom. touched the tension. State.

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Harry Dunn, a spokesman for the teenager’s family, said the two sides had reached a settlement in the lawsuit filed by the family.

“This is a milestone for us that we have achieved a resolution in the civil case,” said spokesman Rad Seeger. “Now we can look ahead and focus on the criminal case, which we very much believe is coming soon.” He declined to disclose any details about the agreement.

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US State Department employee Anne Sacoolas was driving on the wrong side of the road near the village of Crouton in central England in August 2019 when she hit Mr Dunn, who died in a hospital soon after the accident.

Weeks later, Ms Sacoolas, whose husband was then working for the US government at a British military base, fled Britain under diplomatic exemption. British prosecutors charged Ms Sacoolas with death by dangerous driving, but the United States government rejected her extradition request. The decision, which the British government called a “denial of justice”, caused outrage in Britain.

The agreement between Mr Dunn’s family and Ms Sacoolas is unlikely to end years of tensions between Washington and London should she need to return to Britain to face charges. In a phone call with Mr Dunn’s mother and Mr Seeger on Tuesday, the British foreign secretary, Liz Truss, said the agreement was not the end of his office’s efforts to extradite Ms Sacoolas to Britain.

“She made it clear that the government’s position is that justice must be done,” Mr Seeger said.

In the years since the accident, Mr Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, have campaigned in the UK to prosecute Ms Sacoolas. In October 2019, he met President Donald J. Trump went to the White House for a meeting, who surprised him by revealing that Ms. Sacoolas was in an adjacent room. Mr. Dunn’s parents refused to meet him. They later brought a civil claim against him in Virginia.

Down Vienna conference on diplomatic relationsDiplomatic employees posted abroad and members of their families are entitled to immunity. Last year, Britain and the United States finally agreed to make it harder for diplomats to claim immunity for crimes committed outside their duties. However, the changes apply to future cases, not Ms. Sacoolas.

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