Harry Dunn: Family's bid for answers three years on from crash death – BBC

By Pete Cooper
BBC News, East

On 27 August 2019, British teenager Harry Dunn was killed when a car crashed into his motorbike outside a US military base located in the UK. His death sparked a transatlantic diplomatic row and led to discussions between the prime minister and two presidents, but the woman, a US citizen, accused of killing the 19-year-old is yet to face a criminal court.
Three years on from his death, how close are Harry Dunn's family to a resolution in his case?
Harry Dunn's mother Charlotte Charles said the 19-year-old was "larger than life" and "his sense of humour was great".
The teenager died in a crash near RAF Croughton, Northamptonshire, when it is alleged US national Anne Sacoolas's car struck his motorbike moments after she left the base.
It was said the car was driving on the right side of the road when it should have been on the left under the UK's Highway Code.
She had diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf by the US administration following the crash, because her husband Jonathan worked for a US intelligence agency at the base. They then both left the UK.
As a relative of a member of US staff at the air base, Mrs Sacoolas was able to claim diplomatic immunity, which the then UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said was an "anomaly".
It later transpired in a US civil court hearing that Mrs Sacoolas was "employed by an intelligence agency in the US" at the time of the crash.
Following Harry's death, his parents, Mrs Charles and Tim Dunn, aided by spokesman Radd Seiger, launched a campaign to have the case brought to court.
The family hoped the US would either waive Mrs Sacoolas's immunity or she would voluntarily return to the UK.
It led them to the White House and a meeting with the then President Donald Trump in October 2019.
During the meeting he revealed Mrs Sacoolas was in the next room, but the family felt "ambushed" and did not meet her.
In December 2019, the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) authorised Northamptonshire Police to charge Mrs Sacoolas with causing death by dangerous driving.
But an extradition request for her to be brought to the UK was rejected by the US government.
When Joe Biden became president in January 2021, there was hope from the family the position would change, but the new administration said the refusal was "final".
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In 2020 Boris Johnson said President Biden was "extremely sympathetic"
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has raised the case with President Biden, most recently at last year's G7 summit in Cornwall.
Mr Johnson said he had "massive sympathy with Harry Dunn's family and all his friends".
"We will continue to do whatever we can to get justice for Harry Dunn," he said.
Foreign Secretary, and candidate for leader of the Conservative Party, Liz Truss, raised the case with the US Secretary of State during the United Nations General Assembly in 2021.
Ms Truss tweeted: "We continue to support the family to get justice for Harry Dunn."
In December 2019, Tim Dunn and the family's legal team met Home Secretary Priti Patel to discuss any extradition process.
The UK and the US have also agreed to amend the "anomaly" in a "secret agreement" that allowed Mrs Sacoolas to claim diplomatic immunity.
In the absence of extradition, the family launched a civil claim for damages against Mrs Sacoolas and her husband Jonathan in the US.
A court hearing in Virginia in February 2021 was told Mrs Sacoolas was "employed by an intelligence agency in the US" when the crash happened.
Her barrister said she fled the UK for "security issues" and feared she would "not get a fair trial" if she returned.
But a resolution in the case was reached before Mrs Sacoolas or her husband were called to give evidence, the details of which have not been disclosed.
In December, the CPS said Mrs Sacoolas would appear at magistrates court in the UK this year to face unspecified charges.
But a month later it said the court date had been postponed to allow "ongoing" discussions with the legal team of the US national.
The CPS said there was no further update on the case.
Spokesman Mr Seiger said the family were encouraging people to light candles in memory of Harry Dunn at 20:00 BST on Saturday to mark the third anniversary of his death.
There will also be a memorial motorcycle ride at midday which will start outside the US Embassy in London.
Meanwhile, the family said it would wait for an update from the CPS on the case.
A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police said: "We extend our sympathy once again to the Dunn family three years on since the tragic death of Harry.
"This remains an ongoing case and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."
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