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HomeNewsCoroner criticises US government in Harry Dunn case

Coroner criticises US government in Harry Dunn case

By Martin HeathBBC News, Northamptonshire

JUSTICEFORHARRY19 Harry Dunn wearing green top and standing by a wallJUSTICEFORHARRY19

The coroner ruled that Harry Dunn died as a result of a “head-on collision” with a car on the wrong side of the road

A coroner has criticised the US government for a lack of training provided to employee Anne Sacoolas prior to the crash outside an airbase which killed motorcyclist Harry Dunn.

Anne Pember concluded that Mr Dunn, 19, died as a result of “injuries sustained during a head-on collision” with a car on the wrong side of the road outside RAF Croughton in August 2019.

Speaking after the four-day hearing, Mr Dunn’s family accused the US government of “obstructing” their son’s inquest.

Both representatives of the US embassy and Sacoolas did not attend, prompting family spokesman Radd Seiger to say the US government’s position was that the “lives of UK citizens like Harry ultimately do not matter”.

Sacoolas fled to the US after the crash, claiming diplomatic immunity.

She was eventually sentenced, via video link in December 2022, to eight months in prison, suspended for a year, for causing death by careless driving.

Two women and three men in front of microphones outside the Sessions House

Harry Dunn’s parents, their partners and family spokesman Radd Seiger (centre) spoke after the inquest

Sacoolas had supplied two new statements to Northampton Coroners’ Court.

The inquest also heard her responses during a police interview two months after the fatal crash and a statement from her lawyers from 2020.

Mega Anne SacoolasMega

Anne Sacoolas did not attend the four-day inquest into Harry Dunn’s death in Northampton

The coroner has issued three Prevention of Future Death notices relating to the lack of training given to Sacoolas for driving in the UK.

Speaking at the end of the inquest, Mr Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles said it “concludes everything that we have been fighting to achieve”.

She added: “We have come to the end of our huge fight.

“Does it bring closure to our loss? I don’t think that ever happens.”

She said Sacoolas’ failure to attend the inquest – or previous court hearings – would “forever leave us feeling bitterly disappointed in her”.

In a statement read to the hearing earlier, Sacoolas apologised for her “tragic mistake” which she said she would “live with every single day for the rest of my life”.

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