Please do the right thing.
The wife of a US diplomat Anne Sacoolas has left the country after she was involved in a fatal collision after driving the wrong way and colliding with 19 year old motorcyclist Harry Dunn, who sadly died. She has since left the UK claiming diplomatic immunity.
This is being widely reported in the media, with the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police speaking on Radio 4 on Monday morning supporting the family’s plea to the driver to do the right thing and return to face questions and justice. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Trump have also added their voices to the debate.
What should a driver do after a fatal crash? What they should NOT do is easy. They should not leave the scene nor the country and evade being held accountable for the crash, if the investigation proves culpability.
Founded by a bereaved mother, with most of our members bereaved families, RoadPeace regularly tries to explain how what many people will think is the worst thing imaginable – with a loved one being killed in a crash – can be made so much worse by what happens after the fatal crash. This includes the driver refusing to cooperate with the investigation, as we have with the American driver – and in this case the actions of the driver have undoubtedly added to the suffering of the family.
RoadPeace members want to add their voices to the plea of the family of Harry Dunn asking the driver to return to the UK and face questioning and justice.
Pauline and David Fielding’s son Andrew was killed in a crash in which the driver who caused it was never traced:
First we would like to offer our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Harry Dunn. His sad death will have changed their lives forever. The circumstances around his death and the fact the driver involved in the crash has left the country and claimed diplomatic immunity, will have exacerbated the pain of everyone involved.
We can empathise with Harry’s parents. When our son died 25 years ago the person who caused the crash did not stop, was never traced and did not come forward. This has not helped our family or friends. That person has to live with their conscience for the rest of their life. If the American lady cooperates with the Police and returns to this country to help with enquiries, she will have more self respect and perhaps be able to sleep at night, knowing she has done the right thing in answering questions about the crash.
Elaine Gordon’s sister Georgina Johnson was killed in a hit and run crash:
I would sincerely plead with Anne Sacoolas to return back to the United Kingdom. It is so important that she answers questions about what occurred on that day. Harry Dunn’s parents need to know what exactly happened. I can only imagine the agony and pain they are going through as I felt too when I lost my sister Gina
When you lose your loved one through a road collision it is devastating, it’s so sudden there is no time to say goodbye. For someone to just run off and leave the country is wrong on all levels.
Anne Sacoolas must understand that had this been her own relatives would she be happy with someone else to treat her loved one like this. This behaviour is completely unacceptable. Anne Sacoolas has behaved in such a way as if to say Harry Dunn’s life does not matter.
Lucy Harrison’s brother Peter Price was killed in a hit and run crash:
There isn’t very much that can be done to comfort the family at the moment – but returning to answer questions would at least show some decency. This family will be going through the worst time imaginable, and the knowledge that the driver has acted purely in her own selfish interest with no consideration for the grieving family must make their hurting so much worse. If she has done nothing wrong, why did she run? Claiming diplomatic immunity in this situation seems sickening. I really hope this lady and the American government do the decent thing here!
Cynthia Barlow’s daughter Alex Jane McVitty was killed when she was run over by a lorry while cycling:
When bereaved family members are trying to understand something which is shocking and incomprehensible, they need to know what happened: the truth and the facts. This is a basic human need and anything which prevents that is inhuman. The driver must cooperate.
Ciara Lee’s husband Eddy was killed by a distracted van driver as he was travelling to work on his motorbike:
For me, the most important thing, in regards to an investigation into a road death, is that it shows RESPECT to the person who has been killed. They were deeply loved by so many people, so the circumstances of their death should be treated with the utmost respect. This can only happen through a thorough investigation, where every piece of evidence is explored, and detailed interviews conducted. I cannot stress enough how crushing it would be, if this was unable to happen. Not only has the person you love so much been killed, their life is then being shown complete disregard. It would be an additional blow to an already horrific situation. If the man responsible for my husband’s death had not been held accountable, or had not been investigated fully, it would have destroyed me completely. Without any accountability, there can be no peace for those left behind. They are left in a living hell.
If you would like to add your voice to our plea please email info[@] roadpeace.org with your message.
Note: RoadPeace is currently working with the International Road Victims Partnership on a survey on fatal crashes where the driver has left the scene, what RoadPeace has previously called the cowardly crime. Families understand that drivers do not wake up intending to cause a fatal crash that day. But they cannot understand how drivers can choose to leave someone dead or dying on the road and live with themselves.