Wife of US diplomat, suspect in fatal UK crash that left teen dead, leaves country

Naomi Herring, Oxford Mail

OXFORD, United Kingdom – The wife of a U.S. diplomat has left the United Kingdom after becoming a suspect in the police investigation into a fatal road crash.

Harry Dunn, 19, of Charlton, Banbury, died after his motorbike collided with a car near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on Aug. 27.

Northamptonshire police confirmed that a 42-year-old American woman being treated as a suspect in their investigations has left the country. British media identified the woman as Anne Sacoolas.

Superintendent Sarah Johnson said police "followed all of its usual procedures following the incident, including liaising closely with the suspect, who engaged fully with us at the time and had previously confirmed to us that she had no plans to leave the country in the near future.

"Due process was also followed in seeking the necessary documentation to allow for the arrest and formal interview of the suspect, and the force is now exploring all opportunities through diplomatic channels to ensure that the investigation continues to progress."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who also named Sacoolas, commented on the case Monday, saying he would speak with the U.S. ambassador to the U.K. about it.

Johnson said he didn't think it was right to "use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose" and that he would bring the case up with the White House if necessary.

Police also said they were working with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on the issue.

"Harry Dunn's family deserve justice, and in order to achieve this, a full and thorough investigation, with the assistance of all parties involved, needs to take place," Johnson added.

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Dunn's mother, Charlotte Charles, said: "We are utterly devastated by Harry's loss. He was such a precious young man who was loved by all who knew him.

"Our lives have been shattered."

Upon hearing the news that the suspect had left the country, she added: "We are totally deprived of the ability to grieve, and our lives are now painfully on hold."

Dunn's dad, Tim Dunn, added: "My son was taken from us at such a tender age doing what he loved doing most in life."

Family spokesman Radd Seiger said that Dunn's family was "utterly devastated" and "not coping well at all" following the teenager's death.

He added: "If that weren't bad enough, they now have a situation not of their making where the American government has whisked this American citizen back to the U.S. before they could get some justice."

In a statement, U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he had offered condolences to the family and called the U.S. ambassadors in hopes that the embassy would re-consider its decision.

In its own statement provided to Sky News, the U.S. Embassy in London offered its "deepest sympathies" to Dunn's family following the accident "involving a vehicle driven by the spouse of a U.S. diplomat assigned to the United Kingdom."

It added: "Embassy officials are in close contact with the appropriate British officials on this matter.

"Due to security and privacy considerations, we cannot confirm the identity of the individuals involved, but we can confirm the family has left the U.K."

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY NETWORK: Harry Dunn crash: US diplomat wife leaves UK after fatal crash