British teenager’s parents win first battle in campaign to avenge his death
The death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn caused a diplomatic feud between the UK and the US.
The family of Harry Dunn, a British teenager killed when his motorcycle was struck by the wife of a U.S. diplomat, have reached a “resolution” in a civil claim for damages.
A Virginia court had been asked to rule between Dunn’s parents and his alleged killer, Anne Sacoolas. The details of the verdict have not been made public, according to the BBC, but were hailed as a “milestone” by a Dunn family spokesperson.
“An agreement has been reached successfully between the parties and they can put this part of the campaign behind them,” said the spokesperson, Radd Seiger. “The family’s courage and determination to see this through has been incredible”.
“They will now turn their attention to the criminal case and the long-awaited inquest into Harry’s death which will follow the criminal case.”
Dunn was 19 years old when he died in a traffic accident outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in August 2019. An apparent wrong-way driver struck the young man on his motorcycle, and Dunn died in the ensuing crash. The woman behind the wheel was Sacoolas, the wife of a U.S. diplomat only three weeks into his U.K. posting. Following the accident, Sacoolas left the United Kingdom after being granted diplomatic immunity by the U.S. government, Sky News reported.
Public outrage at Sacoolas’ departure was channeled by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who described it early last year as a “denial of justice.“
In December 2020, the Crown Prosecution Service authorized Northamptonshire Police to charge Sacoolas with causing death by dangerous driving. But the subsequent extradition request for Sacoolas to be returned to the U.K. was rejected by the U.S. government, causing a diplomatic feud.
U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss stated that the resolution of the civil case was “absolutely not” the end of efforts to get Sacoolas back to the U.K. “We continue to press for justice for Harry,” she said.