The US citizen who hit and killed teenager Harry Dunn while driving on the wrong side of the road has been handed an eight-month suspended prison sentence.
Anne Sacoolas, 45, allegedly mistakenly put her Volvo on collision course with 19-year-old Harry’s motorbike as she left a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27, 2019.
The 19-year-old boy was then flung from his bike when the two vehicles collided in a ball of flames, and he later died from his injuries in hospital.
Sacoolas had been urged to come face-to-face with Mr Dunn’s family at an Old Bailey sentencing hearing on Thursday, but opted instead to appear via videolink from Washington DC.
Anne, a mother-of-three, apologised for the crash and her “tragic mistake” through her lawyer and offered to meet Mr Dunn’s family, saying: ‘I am sorry for the pain I have caused.’
“I accept you feel and felt genuine remorse”, said the judge, noting Sacoolas stopped at the roadside and offered help to Mr Dunn.
She said Sacoolas had claimed harassment and threats in the US prevented her from attending in person, but police in the UK had drawn up plans to keep her safe if she did travel.
However the US government ultimately blocked Sacoolas from travelling.
Speaking outside court Mr Dunn’s family blasted the US government after they were forced to endure a three-year wait for justice.
The Old Bailey heard Mr Dunn pleaded “don’t let me die” after the crash, as he lay injured at the roadside, while a shell-shocked Sacoolas admitted “it’s all my fault”.
Outlining details of the crash, prosecutor Duncan Atkinson KC said Sacoolas had driven on the wrong side of the road for up to 26 seconds and over a distance of around 350m, not realising her mistake.
At the time of the collision, she was driving her two children home from a barbecue at the Croughton airbase”, he said.
“Anne Sacoolas was driving on the wrong side of the road – Ms Sacoolas and Harry Dunn were travelling towards each other on the same carriageway.
‘At 20.21:49 there was an explosion and a fire when the headlights met – 23-26 seconds after the Volvo drove off the air base, and 350m from the exit.’