US Diplomat’s Wife Leaves UK Amid Fatal Crash Investigation

October 8, 2019 Updated: October 8, 2019

The wife of an American diplomat has left the country after reportedly becoming a suspect in a fatal traffic accident.

Police in Northamptonshire said on Oct. 5 they had been treating an unidentified 42-year-old woman as a suspect and that she had indicated she didn’t plan to leave Britain.

The woman has been widely described across British media as the wife of a U.S. diplomat.

Police said they were preparing to arrest and formally interview the woman, who has not been officially named.

A general view of RAF Croughton military base on October 7, 2019 near Brackley, England. (Peter Summers/Getty Images)
A general view of RAF Croughton military base near Brackley, England on Oct. 7, 2019. (Peter Summers/Getty Images)

The accident on Aug. 27 killed 19-year-old Harry Dunn after his motorcycle collided with a car near RAF Croughton, a British military base near Oxford that’s home to a signals intelligence station operated by the U.S. Air Force.

Sky News learnt from the police that according to the initial investigation conducted by police, Dunn was riding on the correct side of the road but the driver who hit him head-on pulled out onto the wrong side of the road. According to Sky News Dunn died later in a hospital due to injuries sustained in the accident.

The U.S. Embassy in London offered its “deepest sympathies” to the family of the deceased and said it will continue to be in “close contact” with the appropriate British authorities.

“Any questions regarding a waiver of the immunity with regard to our diplomats and their family members overseas in a case like this receive intense attention at senior levels and are considered carefully given the global impact such decisions carry,” a U.S. Embassy spokesperson said.

“Immunity is rarely waived.”

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he called the U.S. Ambassador to express the U.K.’s disappointment.

Police said they were “now exploring all opportunities through diplomatic channels to ensure the investigation continues to progress.”

On Oct. 7, Sky News revealed that the suspect’s name is Anne Sacoolas, 42. Sacoolas, who is the wife of a US diplomat, claimed diplomatic immunity and left the UK, according to SKY News. Sky News stated that it was told that a special arrangement has been in place as early as 1994 giving diplomats and their families at the RAF Croughton military base diplomatic immunity.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will speak with the U.S. ambassador to the U.K. about a case involving an American diplomat’s wife who left the country after reportedly becoming a suspect in a fatal crash.

Johnson said on Oct. 7 he doesn’t think it is right to “use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose.” The prime minister says he will raise the issue with the White House, if necessary.

Johnson urged the woman to return to the U.K. to face investigation.

The Associated Press contributes to this report.