| 11.2°C Belfast

US military base probing claims of further road crash involving staff member

The incident came almost eight months after the death of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn near RAF Croughton.

Close

The entrance to RAF Croughton, in Northamptonshire, near where Harry Dunn, 19, died when his motorbike was involved in a head-on collision in August.

The entrance to RAF Croughton, in Northamptonshire, near where Harry Dunn, 19, died when his motorbike was involved in a head-on collision in August.

The entrance to RAF Croughton, in Northamptonshire, near where Harry Dunn, 19, died when his motorbike was involved in a head-on collision in August.

The US military base involved in the Harry Dunn scandal is “looking into” claims of another staff member driving on the wrong side of the road before smashing into a stone wall.

Pictures surfaced on Wednesday evening of a black BMW which had veered off the road in the village of Aynho, Northamptonshire.

The incident was a couple of miles down the road from RAF Croughton where Mr Dunn was killed in August last year.

The suspect in Mr Dunn’s death, Anne Sacoolas, claimed diplomatic immunity following the crash and was able to return to the US.

An extradition request for Mrs Sacoolas was rejected by US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in January after she was charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

Following Mr Dunn’s death, the chief constable of Northamptonshire Police, Nick Adderley, said he would fund driver training at RAF Croughton in an attempt to prevent similar incidents.

In January, Mr Adderley announced there had been two further incidents of American staff driving on the wrong side of the road after Mr Dunn’s death.

The PA news agency understands that the Dunn family’s local MP, Andrea Leadsom, is due to speak with police on Thursday about the latest incident.

It is understood the former business secretary is attempting to arrange a virtual meeting between the Dunn family and the base commander at RAF Croughton, Colonel Bridget McNamara.

Close

Chief Constable Nick Adderley of Northamptonshire Police and Bridget McNamara, the base commander at RAF Croughton (Northamptonshire Police/PA)

Chief Constable Nick Adderley of Northamptonshire Police and Bridget McNamara, the base commander at RAF Croughton (Northamptonshire Police/PA)

Chief Constable Nick Adderley of Northamptonshire Police and Bridget McNamara, the base commander at RAF Croughton (Northamptonshire Police/PA)

A spokeswoman for RAF Croughton told PA: “While Northamptonshire Police has the lead, the 501st Combat Support Wing and RAF Croughton are cooperating fully on the investigation of yesterday’s vehicle incident in Aynho.

“We will continue to partner with Northamptonshire Police and apply corrective measures as needed.

“The 501st Combat Support Wing remains committed to the safety of US and UK personnel, both on our bases and in the surrounding communities.”

Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger told PA the Government was “failing in their duty to… safeguard our lives” and described the US administration as a “disgrace”.

He said: “What is it going to take before something is done?

“The loss of Harry Dunn was not enough. The near misses since his death have not been enough. Will this disastrous crash tonight make any difference?

“The UK Government are failing in their duty to protect and safeguard our lives.

“I have made it clear to them that enough is enough and they must do whatever it takes, this being British soil, to make sure that the Americans drive in accordance with our laws when they come off the base.

“As for the American government, they are a disgrace. They have failed to engage with us at all to discuss how they are going to improve safety for their benefit as well as ours.

“They have their heads buried in the sand. Well, we will not stand for this any longer and I will be making representations in the strongest possible terms.

“If, as seems inevitable, there is further bloodshed, it will be on theirs and the UK Government’s hands.”

On Thursday, a Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said: “We were called at 7.45pm last night to reports of a road traffic collision in Aynho involving a BMW 5 Series colliding with a fence.

“We deployed to the scene and are investigating the incident in line with our usual road traffic collision procedures.

“Thankfully no one was injured as a result of the collision.”

PA