Harry Dunn: Coroner Criticizes US Government Over Lack Of Driver Training


The US government has come under fire from a coroner for not providing employee Anne Sacoolas with the necessary training before the collision that claimed the life of biker Harry Dunn.

Mr Dunn, 19, died as a result of “injuries sustained during a head-on collision” with a car that was travelling on the incorrect side of the road outside of RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire, according to Anne Pember’s conclusion.

The US government was accused by Mr Dunn’s family of “obstructing” their son’s inquest, during a statement made following the four-day session.

The absence of Sacoolas and representatives of the US embassy led family spokesman Radd Seiger to declare that the US government’s stance was that the “lives of UK citizens like Harry ultimately do not matter”.

Sacoolas was the spouse of a US diplomat stationed at the site in August 2019, the month of the tragedy.
After escaping to the US, Sacoolas requested diplomatic immunity.

In the end, she was found guilty of causing death by negligent driving and given an eight-month prison term with a one-year suspension by video connection in December 2022.

It was revealed during the Northampton Coroner’s Court inquest that she was employed as an analyst by the US State Department at the time.

For the inquest, Sacoolas had provided the coroner with two additional statements.
Due to last-minute negotiations about Sacoolas’s attendance, the proceedings were postponed twice this week.

Her statements from a 2020 legal declaration and a police interview conducted two months following the deadly collision were played again to the coroner.

Three Prevention of Future Death notices have been issued by the coroner in connection with Sacoolas’s lack of driving instruction in the UK.

Charlotte Charles, Harry Dunn’s mother, stated: “It’s fantastic for us that the coroner has approved our notice regarding the Prevention of Future Deaths and that she would recommend that they do require training.

“We will be keeping that pressure on to try to make sure that they do carry it through.

“We cannot have any other family going through what we went through.”

Sacoolas’s absence from the inquest and other judicial proceedings, according to Ms. Charles, would “leave us feeling bitterly disappointed in her” for all time.

Radd Seiger, a representative for the family, assured reporters that Sacoolas was open to participating virtually in the inquest as long as their attorney avoided questioning her.

He said: “Who would seek to restrict a grieving family’s opportunity to understand how their son died in that way?”

Sacoolas apologized for her “tragic mistake” that she would “live with every single day for the rest of my life” in a statement that was read aloud at the hearing.

When approached by the BBC, a spokesman for Sacoolas declined to comment.

Comment via Facebook

Corrections: If you are aware of an inaccuracy or would like to report a correction, we would like to know about it. Please consider sending an email to [email protected] and cite any sources if available. Thank you. (Policy)

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.