Live

Watch CBSN Live

British prosecutors charge American official's wife over deadly car crash

U.S. official's wife charged in U.K. crash

Prosecutors in the United Kingdom announced on Friday that authorities have charged the wife of an American official over a crash that killed a teenager last summer. The woman, Anne Sacoolas, later left the country and returned to the U.S. claiming diplomatic immunity.

Sacoolas was driving on the wrong side of the road in August when she struck 19-year-old Harry Dunn, who was on his motorcycle. Dunn died, and now Sacoolas is charged with causing death by dangerous driving. 

Prosecutors said Friday that extradition proceedings are underway. It will be up to the British government to decide whether to formally ask that Sacoolas be sent to the U.K., The Associated Press reports.

"May I remind all concerned that criminal proceedings against Anne Sacoolas are now active and that she has a right to a fair trial," Janine Smith, chief crown prosecutor for CPS East Midlands, said in a statement.

Authorities became aware in September that Sacoolas had left Britain, possibly in a U.S. Air Force plane. But it wasn't until 10 days later that Harry Dunn's family was told she had returned to the United States.

anne.png
CBS News

Dunn's death sparked an extraordinary campaign for justice that has seen his family travel to the U.S. and meet President Donald Trump. They could have met Sacoolas, too — she was at the White House during their visit with the president, but they declined the encounter. The couple said they felt the time and place to meet Sacoolas was wrong, and they have continued pushing for her to return to Britain to face justice.

Sacoolas is a 42-year-old mother of three. Court records show she was convicted of a driving infraction in Virginia in 2006, for "failing to pay full time and attention" while behind the wheel, "CBS This Morning" reported.

In the accident that killed Dunn, Sacoolas had just left the Royal Air Force Base Croughton in Northamptonshire, where her husband was stationed, when she hit him. Her legal team previously told CBS News she had no time to react before the crash and that she cooperated with local investigators.  

"She needs to still face what she's done to us and take some punishment for that," Dunn's mother, Charlotte Charles, told "CBS This Morning."

View CBS News In