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'Milestone' in Case of UK Teen Allegedly Killed by US Citizen

But family says campaign for justice is not over
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2021 3:02 AM CDT
Civil Case Resolved in Harry Dunn Death
In this Oct. 14, 2019 file photo, Charlotte Charles, mother of Harry Dunn, who died after his motorbike was involved in an August 2019 accident in Britain with Anne Sacoolas, wife of an American diplomat, speaks at a news conference joined by family members in New York.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, file)

(Newser) – The parents of the British teen killed in the UK in 2019 when his motorbike was hit by a car allegedly driven by the wife of a US diplomat have reached a resolution in the civil case they brought against the woman. Anne Sacoolas claimed diplomatic immunity and left the country after the accident that killed Harry Dunn, the BBC reports. Though she was charged in the UK, the US refused an extradition request to return her to the country to face prosecution, CNN reports.

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So while Dunn's parents are still pushing for her to be extradited, they also filed a civil lawsuit against her in her home state of Virginia. Details of the settlement, which a family spokesperson calls a "milestone," have not been made public. Dunn's family has alleged Sacoolas may have been distracted by a cellphone when she drove on the wrong side of the road, the Guardian reports.

While Dunn's family is relieved to put this part of their campaign behind them, the spokesperson says, "there is much work left to be done before Justice for Harry can be said to be done." The ultimate goal, he says, is to make sure "what happened to this family will never happen to another British family again at the hands of the US Government and that all stakeholders can learn lessons from this most tragic of deaths and a terrible low in the history of the relations between the US and UK."

The Biden administration has said it will not interfere with an alternative solution for achieving justice, though it's not yet clear what that might mean. The previous UK foreign secretary has said a "virtual trial or process" is a possibility. "Harry's family continue to suffer unimaginable pain and miss him each and every day. Their mental health is at an all time low," the family spokesperson says. (Read more Harry Dunn stories.)

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