Killer driver's police interview reveals what happened moments before she crashed into Harry Dunn

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The woman responsible for the death of Harry Dunn has revealed what happened moments before she tragically killed the teenager.

Day three of the inquest into the death of 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn took place today (Wednesday, June 12) at The Guildhall in Northampton town centre.

Harry, from Brackley, died after his motorcycle collided with a car driven by American Anne Sacoolas near a US military intelligence base at RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27, 2019.

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Sacoolas received an eight-month suspended jail sentence at the Old Bailey on December 8, 2022, concluding the family’s courageous three-year battle for justice for their son.

Ann SacoolasAnn Sacoolas
Ann Sacoolas

During day three of the inquest, a police interview with Sacoolas was read out, revealing her perspective on the tragic event. Sacoolas, who had held a US driver's license since she was 15, described herself as "a pretty safe driver."

On the fateful evening, Sacoolas was driving a 2010 Volvo XC90 automatic, a vehicle she had picked up just weeks before the incident. She had attended a BBQ at RAF Croughton intended to "get all the families together to do a meet and greet," leaving the event at 8:15pm.

In the interview, Sacoolas admitted that she was not familiar with the route she took home that night, having only driven it twice before. "I like the country because it’s so peaceful but what I don’t like is the one lane, so I would normally go on the A43 because it was main highway driving,” she said. Unfortunately, Sacoolas turned out of the RAF base onto the wrong side of the road.

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She said: “I just decided on a fluke to go to the left because I saw John turning that way and thought it’s a nice evening, there’s not going to be any traffic like there is in the morning and I don’t have to play chicken with other cars. I pulled out on to the right-hand side of the road, the American side.”

The collision occurred just 350 metres from the base with Sacoolas driving at around 30mph. Describing the incident, Sacoolas said: “It happened so fast. I saw fire. There was smoke. The first thing I did was jump out of my car and tell my son to get out. I ran around and got my daughter out of her car seat and got them on the side of the road.”

Harry was left seriously injured laying in a ditch. Sacoolas said: “I ran back to Harry, he was begging for help. I told him I was going to get him help. He made a comment that he was driving on his side of the road. It was when I got my kids to the side of the road I realised what happened, because up until that point I was confused. It wasn’t until that point, I had realised I had driven on the American side of the road vs the UK side."

When quizzed by police about the moment before the collision, Sacoolas said: "I was just driving. It felt really natural. It wasn’t until after the accident that I even realised what happened. I remember being confused as to why he was on my side then the accident just happened so fast."

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When asked by police what caused the collision, Sacoolas responded: “I drove like an American and drove on the American side of the road.” She acknowledged that to avoid the collision, she needed to "drive on the UK side."

Sacoolas revealed she had not received any training for driving on UK roads, though she was planning to take a course. "I do remember someone telling me [about the Highway Code], I just hadn’t done it [researched it].”

In a statement given to senior coroner Ann Pember in December 2023, Sacoolas said: "I did not have any training on driving on UK roads after arriving. I was not aware of any program on driving in the UK that was regularly provided to US govt employees or their families upon arrival to the UK.

“I deeply regret causing this accident. I made a tragic mistake that I will live with every single day for the rest of my life. There's not a single day that Harry is not on my mind. I am deeply sorry for the pain I have caused.”

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Speaking on behalf of the Dunn family, Radd Seiger said: “We have heard most of that before. Why on Earth is Sacoolas not in court to answer the court’s and the family’s questions?”

The inquest continues.