The Slatest

Family of British Teen Killed in Car Crash Felt “Ambushed” by Trump’s Brokering Surprise Meeting

Charlotte Charles uses a tissue to wipe tears from her eyes.
Charlotte Charles, the mother of Harry Dunn, on Oct. 9 in London. Peter Summers/Getty Images

The family of British 19-year-old Harry Dunn, who was killed in an August car crash, was at the White House on Tuesday to push President Donald Trump to waive diplomatic immunity for the American woman involved in the collision. American Anne Sacoolas was driving on the wrong side of the road when Dunn, who was riding a motorcycle, came around a turn and was struck and killed. The 42-year-old American spoke to British authorities after the incident, initially engaging in the police investigation, before changing course, claiming diplomatic immunity as the wife of an American official, and fleeing back to the U.S.

The Dunn family arrived in Washington this week to personally make their case to Trump. During a meeting at the White House, Trump tried to get the family to meet with Sacoolas, who he revealed was in the next room. The Dunn family refused for a host of personal and legal reasons, but the attempt to broker a meeting with the grieving family felt like “an ambush,” Radd Seiger, a spokesman for the family, told the BBC.

“I thought we were coming down to have a debate on the diplomatic immunity law and it soon became clear to us that the real reason for inviting us down was to try and get [Dunn’s mother] and Mrs Sacoolas in a room together,” Seiger said. “And then I looked to my side and I saw at least three photographers ready to almost … do a press call.” “I think the family feel a little bit ambushed to say the least,” he continued.

The British government’s request to waive Sacoolas immunity to complete the investigation has been rebuffed by the American government, causing outrage in the U.K. “On that night there was an accident, a lady made a mistake, she killed our son, she didn’t mean to kill him, she didn’t mean to have an accident, but you cannot walk away from that and just leave and expect nothing to happen,” Harry Dunn’s father said on Monday.