By Kris Holland & PA MediaBBC News, Northamptonshire

JUSTICEFORHARRY19 Harry Dunn with short fair hair wearing a green top against a stone wallJUSTICEFORHARRY19

Harry Dunn was killed in a crash near RAF Croughton in August 2019

A US government employee has apologised for her “tragic mistake” which resulted in the death of Harry Dunn, an inquest has heard.

Mr Dunn, 19, was hit outside US airbase RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in 2019 by a car driven by an American woman, Anne Sacoolas.

Two statements from Sacoolas, who was absent from the inquest, were read out at Northampton Coroners’ Court, which included her responses during a police interview two months after the fatal crash and a statement from her lawyers in 2020.

Sacoolas left the country after the crash, claiming diplomatic immunity.

‘Deeply sorry’

In the statement taken during a voluntary interview by Northamptonshire Police in 2019, Sacoolas insisted she was a “safe driver”.

The inquest heard that when asked what she believed had caused the collision, she told Northamptonshire Police officers: “I drove like an American and drove on the American side of the road.”

She said in a witness statement that the crash is something that will live with her “every single day for the rest of my life”.

Sacoolas, who gave her employment details to police as an analyst for the US State Department, rejected the coroner’s invitation to give live evidence to the inquest.

Responding to the statements provided to the court by Sacoolas, the Dunn family’s spokesman Radd Seiger told the PA news agency: “We have heard most of that before.

“Why on earth is Sacoolas not in court to answer the court’s and the family’s questions?”

Sessions House, Northampton

The inquest is due to continue at the Sessions House in Northampton until Thursday

A statement given by her lawyers in the US in September 2020 said Sacoolas had been driving on the wrong side of the road for 20 seconds before she hit Mr Dunn outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire.

She said she had not received any training on driving on UK roads after arriving in the country.

Concluding her most recent statement, Sacoolas said: “I deeply regret having caused this accident.

“I made a tragic mistake that I will live with every single day for the rest of my life.

“There is not a single day that goes by that Harry is not on my mind and I am deeply sorry for the pain that I have caused.”

In one of her two witness statements, Sacoolas said: “Immediately after the accident, I hysterically flagged down a motorist and begged her to get help.

“While she called 999, I called my husband to contact the base for help, because we were so close to the base entrance. The base was the first to respond.”

She continued: “As I turned out of the exit from the Croughton Air Force base, taking a left turn, I instinctively moved to the right side of the road.

“I knew that the proper side of the road to drive was the left side, not the right side as I was accustomed to driving in the United States.

“My action was based on instinct and not recalling in that moment that I should have been driving on the other side.”



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