world News : 'I drove like an American': Harry Dunn killer apologises for her 'tragic mistake'

world News : 'I drove like an American': Harry Dunn killer apologises for her 'tragic mistake'
world News : 'I drove like an American': Harry Dunn killer apologises for her 'tragic mistake'

Wednesday 12 June 2024 10:47 PM

newsonline - Anne Sacoolas apologised for the "tragic mistake" she made which resulted in the death of Harry Dunn, an inquest into his death has heard.

In a voluntary interview with police two months after the 2019 crash, a transcript of which was read to the coroner's court on Wednesday, the US government employee insisted she was a "safe driver".

The inquest, at which Sacoolas is not present, heard that when asked what she believed caused the collision, she told Northamptonshire Police: "I drove like an American and drove on the American side of the road."

Sacoolas said in a witness statement that the lethal collision in August of that year was something that would live with her "every single day for the rest of my life".

Responding to the statements provided to the court by Sacoolas, a family spokesman for Mr Dunn Radd Seiger said: "We have heard most of that before.

"Why on Earth is Sacoolas not in court to answer the court's and the family's questions?"

The US State Department asserted diplomatic immunity on behalf of Sacoolas and she left Britain 19 days after the crash.

Image: Harry Dunn (L) and his brother Niall, with their stepfather Bruce Charles. Pic: PA

She appeared before a High Court judge at the Old Bailey via video-link in December 2022, where she pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

'I couldn't have asked for a better brother', Harry Dunn's twin tells inquest

Sacoolas was advised against attending her sentencing hearing by the State Department, which prompted the Dunn family to say they were "horrified" the American government was "actively interfering in our criminal justice system".

She was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for a year.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video playerHarry Dunn's twins' tribute to brother, who was killed after being hit by a car 3:55

Harry Dunn's twin's tribute

In one of her witness statements, Sacoolas said she "instinctively moved to the right side of the road" and was not aware she was on the wrong side of the road "until after the collision".

A statement from her lawyers in the US in September 2020 said Sacoolas had been driving on the wrong side of the road for 20 seconds before she hit Mr Dunn outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire.

Read more on Sky News:
Dunn family's fight for justice never wavered
CCTV 'captures moment TV doctor fell'

In her witness statement read out at the inquest, she said she "hysterically flagged down a motorist" after the crash and "begged her to get help".

The 45-year-old said she had not received any training on driving on UK roads after arriving in the country.

Sacoolas, who gave her employment details to police as an analyst for the US State Department, rejected the coroner's invitation to give live evidence to the inquest.

Her lawyer Ben Cooper KC previously told the court she had "provided everything she could to help this inquest" and offered to "answer any further questions".

Concluding her most recent statement, Sacoolas said: "There is not a single day that goes by that Harry is not on my mind, and I am deeply sorry for the pain that I have caused."

The inquest continues.

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