US woman accused in high-profile road crash to face UK trial

LONDON (AP) — An American citizen who left Britain after being involved in a crash that killed a teenage motorcyclist is to face charges in a British court, prosecutors said Monday.

In an apparent breakthrough in the long-deadlocked case, the Crown Prosecution Service said the case against Anne Sacoolas would be heard at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Jan 18. She faces a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

“While the challenges and complexity of this case are well known, we remain committed to securing justice in this matter,” the prosecution service said.

Details of how the hearing will take place remained unclear. Britain’s Press Association news agency reported that Sacoolas would appear by video link from the United States, though a spokesperson for the U.S. law firm representing her said: “While we have always been willing to discuss a virtual hearing, there is no agreement at this time.”

Sacoolas is accused of killing 19-year-old Harry Dunn in a collision outside RAF Croughton, an air base in eastern England used by U.S. forces, in August 2019. She returned to the U.S. days later and the American government invoked diplomatic immunity on her behalf, prompting an outcry in Britain.

Dunn’s family have pressed politicians in Britain and the United States to get Sacoolas to face British justice, but an extradition request was refused by U.S. authorities.

Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, said the family felt “very emotional and overwhelmed, having just learned the news that Mrs. Sacoolas is now to face our justice system. It is all that we asked for following Harry’s death.”