The State Department said Thursday they have declined a request from the United Kingdom to extradite the wife of a U.S. diplomat involved in a fatal crash that killed a 19-year-old motorcyclist while she was driving on the wrong side of the road.
Anne Sacoolas, 42, was charged by British authorities in connection with the death of British teenager Harry Dunn, but she left the country before local police could interview her about the circumstances surrounding the accident.
"If the United States were to grant the U.K.'s extradition request, it would render the invocation of diplomatic immunity a practical nullity and would set an extraordinarily troubling precedent," a spokesperson for the State Department said Thursday, NBC News reported.
"The United States has a history of close law enforcement cooperation with the United Kingdom, and we value that relationship. The United States government again expresses its sincere condolences and sympathy to the Dunn family for the loss of their son," the spokesperson added.
Dunn, 19, was killed while he was riding his motorcycle on Aug. 27 when he collided with a Volvo XC90 driving the wrong direction in Coughton, a small city in central England, near a military base controlled by the U.S. Air Force. The driver of the Volvo was revealed to be Sacoolas, who claimed diplomatic immunity in connection with the teenager's death. In October, an attorney for Sacoolas revealed that his client had been interviewed by officers twice before she claimed immunity.
The U.S.' decision to decline extradition comes less than one month after the U.K.'s Crown Prosecution Service made the request to begin extradition proceedings after Sacoolas was charged in Dunn's death.
The U.K. government said Friday morning that it was "urgently considering" its options after the State Department declined to extradite Sacoolas.
"Don't you worry #HarryDunn supporters. Taking this in our stride. #annesacoolas is coming back. You wont stand for it. We won't. British Govt won't. Next steps to be discussed and agreed, and they will be ferocious," Radd Seiger, a spokesperson for the Dunn family tweeted.
According to a statement provided to CNN, Sacoolas' attorney, Amy Jeffress said, "Anne is devastated by this tragic accident and would do anything she could to bring Harry back. She continues to grieve for Harry and his family."
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