Talk:Death of Harry Dunn

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Should include entire Trump quote[edit]

I think the article needs to include the entire Trump quote to illustrate to the world how the leader of the most powerful country in the world is a complete blithering idiot. Quote from Crash death suspect 'will not return to UK' "The woman was driving on the wrong side of the road, and that can happen. You know, those are the opposite roads, that happens. I won't say it ever happened to me, but it did. So a young man was killed, the person that was driving the automobile has diplomatic immunity, we're going to speak to her very shortly and see if we can do something where they meet." (talk) 17:07, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

Including the entire long quote of one person and no one else would be unbalanced. Other people have made more meaningful statements on this subject in fewer words. Jonathunder (talk) 14:35, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes, "unbalanced" seems a very fair appraisal. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:26, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Agree with Jonathunder. Trump's thoughts on the incident only deserve passing mention at most. NickCT (talk) 01:15, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
The BBC is still reporting that Jonathan Sacoolas is a diplomat. That is highly questionable, as is the statement that he and his wife had diplomatic immunity. Investigate the purpose of “RAF Croughton” where Sacoolas was based and think about the claim that the family address in the States is near Foggy Bottom. Craig Murray has two articles about the case on his blog: Jonathan Sacoolas Is Not, and Has Never Been, a Diplomat and The Foreign Office Must Be Challenged Over Sacoolas' Immunity.     ←   ZScarpia   23:17, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
He's clearly not a diplomat. I think there are probably a few reporters who are taking the US at its word w/o verification. NickCT (talk) 01:31, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
Notwithstanding the fact that Murray is not a reliable source, immunity is not restricted to diplomats per se, but rather extends to accredited support staff, as well. However, it has been reported that Sacoolas's husband was not registered as such, so did not have immunity, therefore neither did his wife. Nick Cooper (talk) 10:07, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
Of course, Murray is a reliable source for what he himself has written. The point of linking to his articles on the talkpage isn't so much to push to have their contents included in the article, though, but to alert editors to the probable unreliability of what is being reported in the media. Who has diplomatic protection is bound by law and those who have it are listed. The Sacoolases weren't listed. Why would the government dissemble? What is fact and what is misinformation?     ←   ZScarpia   12:15, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

First name[edit]

Is her first name Anne or Anna? The article listed several instances of each. I changed them all to Anne. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:15, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

Accident or incident?[edit]

I noticed the article uses the word 'incident' everywhere. Shouldn't it be called 'accident' instead? It's more specific and describes what happened. An incident in traffic, unintentional, that caused (lethal) injury, is by my knowledge usually called a traffic accident. Now when it's about the diplomatic immunity involved, that could be called an incident. Zorba1968 (talk) 19:05, 31 October 2019 (UTC)

Yes, a fair question. The article opens with "road traffic collision" which I think is probably the best and most neutral term, even though most RTCs are accidents. I think the parents also admitted themselves, on television, that it was an accident. We should follow whatever the sources say. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:44, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
"Incident" and "collision" are neutral terms, "accident" is loaded in this context, so should be avoided. -- DeFacto (talk). 19:59, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Traffic collision is more specific than "incident" and factual from a neutral point of view. Use and link it in the first instance and use "collision" thereafter. Jonathunder (talk) 20:02, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree with that. -- DeFacto (talk). 20:05, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Many sources also use "crash", e.g. The Independent, The Guardian and BBC. I see, however that The New York Times uses "accident", as does the [[1]Washington Examiner]. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:06, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
I think the term "accident" became non-PC for road incidents in the UK a few years ago, following campaigning in support of vulnerable road users and/or against private motor transport by various pressure groups. The British police used to systematically refer to them as "road traffic accidents" or RTAs, but now they call them RTCs or RTIs ("road traffic collisions" or "road traffic incidents") and the British press now seem to following that lead. Perhaps it's different in the US. And yes, I agree that "crash" is neutral too. -- DeFacto (talk). 20:20, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Accident is a neutral term I would say; I don't see why it would be "loaded"? It just describes specifically, that the incident was unintentional and caused damage or harm. I don't think there's anything controversial about either of these two things, in this case. It was clearly an accident. It has indeed also been described as an accident by various sources. Now "collision" is not a neutral word, because it implies nobody is to blame for it.[1] So I don't agree with "collision", as the police at no point has treated this as an incident for which nobody is to blame; there is a suspect. Zorba1968 (talk) 20:25, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes they do. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:26, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
That page is not about this accident. Every accident is also an incident, so it's only logical police use that term in a general way, more so when it has yet to be reported even. But during investigation, an incident may turn out to be an accident, specifically. As I think has happened here, as we're not in the reporting phase but have a nearly complete investigation by police. By my knowledge, an accident is an incident that caused (lethal) injury (or damage), unintentionally . It is important to note that unintentionally does not mean there is no blame/guilt/responsibility/culpability; it just means there was no intent (as compared to f.i. a terrorist attack). Zorba1968 (talk) 20:55, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
We don't know all the facts yet, so are unable to state as fact whether it was an an accident, or not. We do however know for sure that a collision/incident occurred. -- DeFacto (talk). 21:01, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
@Zorba1968: I think the reasoning in the UK is that "accident" implies it happened unexpectedly, unintentionally and with no blame (it's loading) before the full facts are known, whereas "incident" and "collision" are totally neutral wrt blame. -- DeFacto (talk). 20:57, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Legal niceties notwithstanding, in the minds of most British people, who have followed the story from the statements made by Dunn's parents, and in the television news, I suspect there is little doubt it was "an accident". Here is Dunn's mother, Charlotte Charles, describing the "big fireball when his bike went up": Teenage crash victim Harry Dunn killed in 'big fireball', family says. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:34, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the input, everyone. Well, this seems to be more complicated and subjective than I thought it would be. Various sources do not seem to agree on the exact meanings of these terms, probably also because of legal reasons and implications various words may suggest, rightly or wrongly. I think (or thought!) the notion that "accident" implies "nobody to blame" is a wrong understanding of what the word "accident" means in the context of "traffic accidents" or in a legal context. I haven't come across the notion of "nobody to blame" in any dictionary definition of "accident". But obviously, if enough people start using the word "accident" as to mean "nobody to blame", then its meaning will become just that... It gets more confusing because the word accident in English also gets used (in a different context, as I understand it) to suggest something like a "chance event". That complicates matters obviously. Looking at accident noun - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary at comparing meanings 1. and 2. is probably what the confusion is about.
My problem with the word "incident" in this specific case, is that it is a very general term, also used to describe situations that didn't cause any (significant) harm or damage, and as such feels like it's an euphemism for what happened here.
On second (or third!) thought, I think "collision" or "crash" might be the best terms after all, although people even seem to disagree on that (as per my earlier US law firm reference).
As far as sources go, it's not gonna help much here, as "incident", "accident", "collision" and "crash" have all been used for this event by reputable sources... Zorba1968 (talk) 21:44, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I'd certainly agree that word has several meanings. Including unplanned pregnancy. In the field of aviation the words "accident" and "incident" are quite separate. And the notion of "ultimate blame" may not be a particularly useful one. But in the field of road transport there is certainly a much larger degree overlap between the terms. On the motorways of Britain the word "incident" can encompass many events including attempted suicide from a motorway bridge to animals loose on the carriageway or a police forced vehicle stop. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:56, 31 October 2019 (UTC)

I'm an EMT in the US. In recent years, the phrase "motor vehicle collision" and the abbreviation MVC have largely replaced "motor vehicle accident". This is because many collisions turn out to involve persons driving with suspended driver licenses, suspended vehicle registrations, no liability insurance, or driving under the influence. The attitude sees to be that if the driver had no right to be driving, it wasn't an accident, it was an intentional offense. The offense began when the driver started the car.

"Collision" is a neutral term. At the time emergency services are dispatched, none of the emergency responders has any idea whether the alarm (an even more general term) will turn out to be an accident, a collision, or an erroneous report. Jc3s5h (talk) 17:29, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

I think UK emergency services have also moved towards "road traffic collision" in recent years. But I see no problem in also using the term "accident" in this article. Are you suggesting a change to the article wording somewhere? I assume you are not suggesting that Sacoolas may have been driving illegally. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:43, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
UK police terminology includes both 'Road Traffic Accident' and 'Road Traffic Collision' (see Glossary | The Met)--SnowyMalone (talk) 17:45, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I guess most forces will be inline with the Met. I suspect both terms will continue to be used, if only for historical reasons. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:33, 10 February 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Accident vs. Collision: What's the Difference?". March 27, 2017.

"Left" vs. "fled"[edit]

DeFacto - Looking at this edit; there are plenty of sources that use "fled" including NYT, WaPo, Vox. Bit confused what you mean by "sourced prose". Where do you think we're pulling that wording from? NickCT (talk) 17:18, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

I note that The Independent also uses that word here, as does The Guardian here and the Evening Standard here. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:26, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
@NickCT: what I mean is that our article prose does not frame it as fleeing, it uses the word "left" both times leaving the country is mentioned. "Flee" implies escaping from danger, and our article doesn't explain what that danger might be. There is no reason to "flee" if no wrongdoing has occurred, and until we see evidence of law breaking wrt to the leaving, I think we have a duty under WP:BLP to use neutral terminology. Newspapers tend to editorialise by the use of loaded language, but Wikipedia has its WP:NPOV policy and is not a newspaper, so should avoid the use of such words without direct and reliably sourced evidence to support their literal meanings. -- DeFacto (talk). 18:52, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
Wrongdoing has occurred. She was fleeing justice. She's a fugitive. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:54, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
@DeFacto: - I disagree that "fleeing" indicates wrong doing has occurred. Imagine hypothetically I'm in some backward third-world country and someone accuses me of being a witch. I may flee to avoid an angry mob coming to prosecute me for witchcraft. I haven't done anything wrong. I'm just fleeing to avoid a mob.
Using the word "flee" to mean "avoid prosecution" is pretty common. Whether or not Sacoolas did anything wrong, she pretty clearly fled an attempt at prosecution.
Would she suggest she left for some reason other than avoiding prosecution? NickCT (talk) 20:37, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
Agree. Also note that "The Morning Breaks, the Shadows Flee" (... but I'm not really sure what the shadows did wrong.) Martinevans123 (talk) 20:44, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
@Martinevans123: - <chortle> NickCT (talk) 20:47, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
@NickCT: fleeing danger or wrongdoing I said. Whichever it is, we need to document it in the prose before we can summarise it in the lead, wouldn't you think? -- DeFacto (talk). 22:11, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
We're not saying she "fled danger or wrongdoing." The sentence is question is this: "The collision became the centre of a diplomatic incident after Sacoolas fled the country claiming diplomatic immunity." Maybe she fled from a perceived impending onslaught of tabloid news reporters? Maybe she fled because she felt guilty or remorseful? Maybe she fled from the anger and blame of her own husband? We don't know. But to leave very quickly, without any explanation, looks to most people like "fleeing". And I'd suggest that's why many quality broadsheet newspapers have used that word in their reports. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:25, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
@Martinevans123: but those "maybes" are maybes and not reliably sourced facts, which, unlike the press - regardless of paper size - Wikipedia needs. -- DeFacto (talk). 07:09, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
@DeFacto: - I sorta take your point. But the article's wording seems to make it clear she's being investigating, and in danger of being prosecuted, no? NickCT (talk) 03:39, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
@NickCT: sort of, but I think the word implies something which hasn't been said and which isn't sourced. I think the less loaded word "left" is more appropriate unless we can reliably source those implications. -- DeFacto (talk). 07:09, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
You say "Flee" implies escaping from danger. But I disagree; that's just another maybe. It's your assumption. I'd agree that the word "left" is more neutral. But I see no real problem with the word "fled". Martinevans123 (talk) 08:04, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
@Martinevans123: the Oxford Advanced Learners dictionary defines it: to leave a person or place very quickly, especially because you are afraid of possible danger.flee verb - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary at How do you define it? -- DeFacto (talk). 21:19, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
See my reply below. I think your WP:OR interpretation here is "especially" narrow. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:13, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
@DeFacto: - It's pretty clearly sourced that Anne is being investigated and is at risk of being charged. I take your point that "left" is less loaded, but isn't it also less precise? Someone can "leave" for any reason. "Fleeing" is "leaving" in order to avoid something. I think you agree Sacoolas is leaving in order to avoid prosecution.
Anyways, you seem to have a minor preference for "leave". Martin and I seem to have a minor preference for "flee". Do you want to pursue this? We could set up a simple straw poll. Get some other opinions... NickCT (talk) 13:18, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
@NickCT: I don't agree that we actually know why she left, all we have is speculation. And I don't have a minor preference for "leave", I have a major objection to the use of "flee" without knowing for sure what her reason for leaving was. -- DeFacto (talk). 21:28, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
@DeFacto: - So you're seriously suggesting she left for some reason other than avoiding prosecution? Really......? You sure you're not being a little willfully blind here?
Anyway, we now have three people weighing in for "fled". You didn't answer my question about the poll. NickCT (talk) 00:33, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
@NickCT: I think what we need is a WP:Consensus, and not a poll. -- DeFacto (talk). 07:27, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
@DeFacto: - If we're at an impasse, we're meant to move to something like an RfC per WP:DR. I don't see this debate advancing much. Partly b/c you're not answering questions like "do you seriously propose Anne left for some reason other than to escape investigation?". NickCT (talk) 16:32, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
@NickCT: I am not proposing a reason for her leaving, I'm questioning the use of the word "fled" when we do not have any evidence to support the use of it. I do not know why she left, because, from what I've seen, she has never said, I don't think we should include press speculation as if it were incontrovertible fact. Feel free to escalate this discussion as you see fit. -- DeFacto (talk). 19:08, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
@DeFacto: - We frequently include press speculation as incontrovertible fact. The thing is, it's not for me or you to determine what facts are. If the NYT says something is so, then it is so. Unless there's some other RS that says it is not so.
I don't want to escalate it. I also don't want to talk in circles. NickCT (talk) 20:33, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
@NickCT: I agree we've spend enough time on this, but am disappointed that you are happy to state in the lead (which should summarise the article) that she fled, with nothing to support that statement expressed anywhere else in the article. I'll leave it now for others to judge. -- DeFacto (talk). 22:31, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
I agree that while "fled" could be perceived as somewhat loaded, it is also more precise. "Left" doesn't sound right; doesn't describe the controversial nature of it properly. I prefer "fled."-- P-K3 (talk) 14:08, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
@Pawnkingthree: "flee" is only more precise if we know incontrovertibly that she was escaping danger. The current speculation may be wrong, so does not support its use. -- DeFacto (talk). 21:32, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I think you are mistaken in your personal belief that people flee only from "danger". That seems to me to be a very overly-restrictive and narrow interpretation. Just take a look, for example, at flee#Verb? I think it's very widely believed that Sacoolas was fleeing from justice. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:11, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
That would equate to my understanding, but "believed" isn't enough though, that is just speculation. We need to hear it from her or from a court judgment to know it, and to comply with WP:BLP, before stating it here. -- DeFacto (talk). 23:29, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

So... we've got your belief, and that is just speculation. And we've got what I perceive as a "general belief" voiced by the UK media, which may also be pure speculation. The trouble is that this "court judgment", as you put it, may never happen? And in the meantime I don't think it's very likely that Sacoolas herself will ever admit "I fled from the UK because..." I'm sure her lawyers will have advised her strongly against that. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:39, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

@Martinevans123: I've read the article through again, and the word "fled" in the lead does not summarise accurately what we present as the event in the prose, and per MOS:LEAD, it should. Perhaps the prose understates the circumstances, or perhaps sources do not support the stronger wording, but whichever it is, the lead should be an accurate summary and not introduce a concept not presented in the prose. -- DeFacto (talk). 07:21, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
I see. Maybe we need to use the word "fled" just in the article main body and not in the lead section. But I think your view on what that word means, and how it describes the event to the reader, is in the minority here. Martinevans123 (talk) 07:55, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
My view on what the word means is supported by the link you gave to it in Wikt above. To use the word as an assertion of fact, rather than just presenting it as the opinion of a specific journalist or journalists, we need to be able to reliably source as fact (and not just as the opinion of journalists) that her intent was to run away or escape from the prospect of something that she perceived as a "danger" to her. Currently all we have in the article about her leaving the UK is that she "...had left the UK on a US Air Force aircraft.", "The collision became the subject of a diplomatic dispute when Sacoolas left the country shortly after the incident and the US embassy said she had diplomatic immunity as the wife of a US agent working in the UK." and "The Dunn family became aware that Anne Sacoolas had left the UK a week later on 23 September." - neither of which support the notion of "fleeing". -- DeFacto (talk). 13:08, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Eh? That wikt link says this:
1.(intransitive) To run away; to escape.
The prisoner tried to flee, but was caught by the guards.
2.(transitive) To escape from.
Many people fled the country as war loomed.
Thousands of people moved northward trying to flee the drought.
3.(intransitive) To disappear quickly; to vanish.
Ethereal products flee once freely exposed to air.
How can all of these always mean or imply "flee from danger"? There may be danger, yes, but it's not necessary. Sacoolas was fleeing from justice. I don't count justice as "danger". I'm sorry, but I really can't be bothered linking other dictionary entries that support this fact. I'm going to leave it there. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:21, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
@Martinevans123: perhaps we have different understandings of the word "danger" then? To me, all those definitions of "flee" rely on the one who is fleeing having a perception that they might be in danger from something if they stay. "Danger" can mean the fear that something unpleasant might happen, as well as the liklihood of physical harm or injury. We don't use the word "fled" for a normal journey, we only use it for a journey made to escape something we perceive may cause something unpleasant to happen. So "fled" implies trying to escape from something - but we don't have any facts supporting that premise in the article at the moment. Can you supply an RS that supports your assertion that she "was fleeing from justice", which could be considered a danger to someone who thinks they might be found guilty of some wrongdoing and fears unpleasant consequences might be the result it they stayed? -- DeFacto (talk). 19:36, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
I hope this will be my last comment on this topic. I'll leave to others to discuss further and decide. Yes, it seems we do indeed have different understandings of the both the word "flee" and the word danger". And I think all those definitions of "flee" in the wikt page are examples not an exhaustive list. Quite regardless of any personal understandings or dictionary definitions, we have plenty of RS sources which say she fled. I'm happy to follow them. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:52, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
@Martinevans123: but we only say it in the lead, without supporting that interpretation in the prose. Readers enticed to read further by that lead will be left unsatisfied by the anticlimactic detail! If you are convinced "fled" is justified, why not back it up in the prose? -- DeFacto (talk). 22:31, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

@Martinevans123: you keep on reinstating the word, but there is no consensus here for its use. Repeatedly re-reverting other editors changes is not an alternative for reaching consensus here; please read WP:OWN. I'd also point out that Sacoolas is a living person covered by WP:BLP. -- The Anome (talk) 13:44, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

User:The Anome, you say "keep on reinstating"? Could you please show us a diff when I previously reinstated that word? I didn't revert you here either; you changed the word in the lead section, I left that alone and changed the word in the main body, in response to your edit summary which said "there is no inline cite for this" (and you're edit summary didn't say "multiple inline citations needed for this word")? A single use of the word in the main body seemed to be an acceptable compromise to other editors. But now you claim that I'm trying to WP:OWN this article?? Martinevans123 (talk) 13:54, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
p.s. yes, I am aware that Anne Sacoolas is a living person, thanks. I'm not sure why that would prevent her now from having fled the country. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:55, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
p.p.s. as I already indicated at the top of this thread, two other WP:RS sources also used that word. Those could easily be added if you wish. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:11, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

I should also point out that this matter either is, or is very likely soon to be, sub judice. Anything other than strictly factual information here is thus very likely to be a breach of WP:BLP. -- The Anome (talk) 14:36, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

It might be useful to agree whether this is topic sub judice or not? Meanwhile, could you provide those diffs that you alluded to in accusing me of WP:OWN? Many thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:51, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
I withdraw the "keep on reinstating" remark, as I didn't fully check the edit history; however, my comments stand, with the removal of the words "keep on". In my opinion, I'd also exercise caution if there's even a chance of something being sub judice. People deserve to be treated fairly, with a presumption of innocence regardless of what other people might think they have or have not done. -- The Anome (talk) 15:03, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
"People deserve to be treated fairly". Quite agree. But I'm still presumed to be guilty of WP:OWN at this article? Martinevans123 (talk) 15:08, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
I agree, whether this is sub-judice, or not. I think we should stick to WP:NPOV and avoid loaded language such as that, unless we have unequivocal and reliably sourced evidence (rather than speculation and/or sensationalist news reporting) of that implied ulterior motive for the journey. -- DeFacto (talk). 16:54, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Oh. You agree I'm guilty of WP:OWN here? I wouldn't describe any of those three sources as "sensationalist". Martinevans123 (talk) 17:31, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
One compelling reason for using the more understated term ("left") is that, often, understatement conveys the gravity of a situation more effectively than does stronger language. As a frequent reader of the Daily Mail, I know of what I speak (it's an international laughingstock).
Further, I'm convinced that a legal expert or someone in her husband's chain of command told her, in essence, to "Get out. Just get out as fast as you can." On that basis, I cannot personally ascribe to her the agency to have "fled" simply because she feared the British legal system. In my opinion, she did "flee", but on the advice of an "expert" as well as in fear. Therefore I would say that she "left", and rather abruptly at that.--Quisqualis (talk) 15:40, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Your candour, in admitting such reading habits, is quite surprising, especially here. But the substance of your comment seems to be driven by sheer speculation. I think the article should simply reflect good sources. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:47, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
The DM's coverage is vast in breadth, up-to-the-second and surprisingly deep, given its writing process. They often give links to source articles. Article comments are mostly bot-generated.
As an American in sympathy with the Dunns, I ask you to "open hand. release stick". There are too many unknowns (and unknowables) in this case right now.--Quisqualis (talk) 16:08, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
As an editor of this Wikipedia article, I don't think my sympathies or my nationality should have any bearing. Nor should yours. And I don't see why suggesting the "article should simply reflect good sources" should have anything to do with hands and sticks. You are right there are unknown elements, but I don't agree that we should pretend we don't know certain things simply because there has been no court case. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:17, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I advocate the suspension of all judgment until the first round of legal processes has run its course. If a similar incident happened in India, I believe the operative word in this encyclopedia would be "left".--Quisqualis (talk) 16:29, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
The "first round", eh? When is that due to start? Martinevans123 (talk) 16:44, 9 February 2020 (UTC)


Template:Infobox event provides only for "burial". But Dunn's body was cremated. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:03, 21 December 2019 (UTC)


The additional wording "with car driven on wrong side of the road" was removed, for a second time, with the edit summary "we know it was driven on the wrong side, but won't know how significant that was in terms of 'cause' until we know what the findings of the collision investigation are". The fact that the police have charged Sacoolas with causing death by dangerous driving suggests to me that they are pretty sure Sacoolas' car was the cause of the collision. The only additional part of the investigation is the formal interviewing by police of Sacoolas, which may never happen. I can understand the need for brevity in the infobox, but the reasoning currently suggested for that removal seems unsound. Is the intention that the outcome of a criminal trial will provide the necessary "proof" of cause? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk)

It doesn't matter what the police think, or what the charges are. All that matters are the findings of any trial, which will weigh up the evidence and the findings of any investigation into the collision, and mitigating circumstances, etc. We must wait for that, and not try to second-guess - based solely on the limited details currently in the public domain. -- DeFacto (talk). 11:37, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
"It doesn't matter what the police think"... (when the incident was captured on CCTV)? I see. And if the trial never happens... I guess nobody will ever know if Sacoolas' car was the cause of the accident or not? Perhaps her leaving the country, under the guise of diplomatic immunity, was just a coincidence. But you seem to be agreeing that the reason we can't have those extra words, under "cause", in the infobox, is that we'd need a trial verdict (or a guilty plea, at least). Martinevans123 (talk) 11:48, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
And not just the police, of course, but the CPS. Also Sacoolas' lawyer Amy Jeffress, who has said this (emphasis added: "Anne is devastated by this tragic accident and continues to extend her deepest condolences to the family. Anne would do whatever she could to bring Harry back. She is a mother herself and cannot imagine the pain of the loss of a child. She has cooperated fully with the investigation and accepted responsibility ... This was an accident, and a criminal prosecution with a potential penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment is simply not a proportionate response." She said the potential 14-year sentence was "not proportionate" for what was "a terrible but unintentional accident". Martinevans123 (talk) 12:54, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
If you can show that the balance of reliable sources support the assertion of fact that that was certainly the cause of the death, then fine, but otherwise we cannot assert it, regardless of our personal, only partially informed, opinion of the liklihood. -- DeFacto (talk). 16:48, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
I'm struggling to understand how the death could have been caused by anything else. I'm sorry if I'm "only partially informed." I'm basing my view on a fair selection of what I have read in the broadsheet press and seen on television news over the past four months. I'm really not sure why the onus is not on yourself to show there is any doubt, in reliable sources, that the car driven by Sacoolas wasn't the cause of Dunn's death. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:16, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
Without having seen all the reports of the investigations that took place, it would be unwise to speculate as to all the possible factors contributing to the untimely death. Don't forget too, that there could also be mitigating factors. So let's wait for the findings to be published. -- DeFacto (talk). 16:28, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
I don't think it's very usual for the police in the UK to ever publish "all the reports of the investigations that took place." All that one might reasonably expect to see would be court proceedings, reported second-hand, and an eventual trial outcome? Mitigating factors might affect Sacoolas's legal culpability, but not the actual cause of the collision, for which she has already admitted responsibility. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:31, 22 December 2019 (UTC)

Use of 'accused'[edit]

The word accused being used to describe the person who killed Harry Dunn should be changed to accurately reflect the truth. As one user pointed out, the word 'accused' in the legal term used in England and Wales. Fortunately, Wikipedia is not a British-only website. As such, care should be taken so as to not cause confusion. While she has been accused of wrongdoing by courts in England, this is the only place where this is applicable. Accused is defined as a person who has been charged with a crime but does not show whether the party is guilty or not.

In this case, the accused is guilty. There is no doubt. She has admitted to driving the vehicle that struck Dunn at the time that Dunn was hit. She has admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road, which is reckless driving.

So by using the term accused, you give credence to the idea that she is not guilty. She is guilty. If you want to use the term manslaughter, that is also acceptable (personally though, by fleeing the country by claiming diplomatic immunity which she was not entitled shows a level of malice warranting being described as murderer). But accused and alleged are not proper terms describing the reality of the situation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:16, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

"Accused" is a legal term everywhere, and I think it's appropriate here. I think it's pretty clear from the lead that Anne was responsible for the incident. I think the word "accused" helps make it clear that, though she's responsible, her guilt hasn't been legally established. NickCT (talk) 13:25, 24 January 2020 (UTC), thank you for finally raising the matter here. I agree with NickCT. The terms accused and alleged are perfectly appropriate in this context. Note that your previous repeated edits simply had the effect of removing the name of the accused person from the infobox, as "Murderer" is not a valid parameter there. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:35, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Also, please note that the CPS has decided the appropriate charge is Causing death by dangerous driving, and not the lesser charge of Reckless driving, as you suggest above. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:42, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Please also note that leaving the country after a traffic collision (whether "fleeing" or not) does not automatically mean one is guilty of murder. Not in the Law of England and Wales anyway. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:44, 24 January 2020 (UTC)


I'm really not entirely sure why anyone can still pretend that Sacoolas' driving on the wrong side of the road is no more than just "an allegation", when the article plainly says this:

"An investigation into the collision by Nick Adderley, the chief constable of Northamptonshire Police, determined, from CCTV records, that a car had been travelling on the wrong side of the road." The source is this.

Sacoolas has never denied that this is a fact. The lead now says something that the article does not. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:21, 6 February 2020 (UTC)

"A living person accused of a crime is presumed innocent until convicted by a court of law." (WP:BLPCRIME) Also, the absence of a denial is not equivalent to an admission. I invite you to find any reliable source where Sacoolas says "I did it". WWGB (talk) 00:06, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
I'm surprised that any denial by Sacoolas would not have come to light by now. The current BBC source here says quite plainly: "The force has said CCTV of the crash in which Mr Dunn died shows a Volvo travelling on the wrong side of the road." I'm not sure why the police would choose to invent that. I seem to recall that Mr Trump also had something to say on the matter, not that we can necessarily believe anything he says, of course. Martinevans123 (talk) 08:37, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
But we don't know for sure why it was there, whether it was there at the moment of the collision, or even whose car it was - do we?. -- DeFacto (talk). 10:22, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
I don't see that anyone is asking "why", or that the article needs to establish this. The police say it has seen "CCTV of the crash" - that's sounds pretty clear to me. You seem to be suggesting there may have been another Volvo, owned and driven by someone else, that just happened to be there, at the time of the collision. I really think this would have been ruled out before the CPS brought a criminal case. If the vehicle was not being driven by Sacoolas, why did she stop and cooperate with the police? Martinevans123 (talk) 10:29, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
Well, we could speculate - but it's better to wait for the outcome of any proceedings I think. -- DeFacto (talk). 10:46, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
I don't see that a statement of fact, given by Northamptonshire Police, which is reported in multiple WP:RS sources, and which has been publically challenged by no-one, as "speculation". If you wish to use the word "alleged" in the lead section of this article, perhaps you should at least provide a source for that? Martinevans123 (talk) 11:13, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
Note what the manual of style states about using the term "alleged" in articles. It is marked among "words that may introduce bias":
  • "Words such as supposed, apparent, alleged and purported can imply that a given point is inaccurate, although alleged and accused are appropriate when wrongdoing is asserted but undetermined, such as with people awaiting or undergoing a criminal trial; when these are used, ensure that the source of the accusation is clear." Dimadick (talk) 11:50, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
    I'm not sure how the source of the "accusation" could be any clearer in this case. Perhaps it could be made clearer in the lead section if:
"The car was being driven, allegedly on the wrong side of the road, by Anne Sacoolas..."
was replaced with
"Northamptonshire Police said that the car was being driven, on the wrong side of the road, by Anne Sacoolas..."
As for people "awaiting or undergoing a criminal trial", this does not seem to cover people who are "not awaiting any trial, because they have left the country and won't be handed back"? Martinevans123 (talk) 11:55, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
So what's the objection to this proposal, exactly? Martinevans123 (talk) 09:32, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I have no issue with the WSOTR allegation being attributed to police. WWGB (talk) 09:44, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
WSOTR? Martinevans123 (talk) 10:20, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Hint: the first word is "wrong". WWGB (talk) 10:50, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Could we have hints for the other four words as well, please? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:54, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Do we have any reliable sources reporting that the police have ever actually said who was driving the car at the moment the collision occurred - or are we combining information from multiple sources and drawing our own conclusion? -- DeFacto (talk). 10:32, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
The Washington Post in its article here says this (my emphasis added):
"On Thursday, the U.S. government denied a British extradition request pertaining to Anne Sacoolas, an American diplomat’s wife. Sacoolas admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road when she collided with 19-year-old Dunn in August, but she claimed immunity and fled to the United States. She has been formally charged with “causing death by dangerous driving."
Sorry, there's that word "fled" again. But is that clear enough for you? Or are you suggesting that the police did not explicitly say this, and so Sacoolas may have been mistaken? Martinevans123 (talk) 10:43, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
That certainly isn't a source that directly supports "Northamptonshire Police said that the car was being driven, on the wrong side of the road, by ..." though. They tend to couch their output in "on suspicion of", "in connection with", etc. So without a directly sourced and unambiguous quote from the police, I think what we can say in the article, based on the current sources we have, and pending any court case, is: "The car was allegedly being driven on the wrong side of the road by ..." We can also say she admitted whatever she admitted, but we cannot conclude any specific fact about culpability without a court verdict. -- DeFacto (talk). 11:14, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
And I think use of the word "allegedly" is inappropriate and misrepresents what's stated in the article as a whole. I really can't think of a source that's clearer than The Washington Post one above. We are meant to reflect what RS sources report. In fact I'd be happy to add that sentence from the WaPo wholesale into the article and lead section, if you prefer. Or would you claim that was a copyvio? Martinevans123 (talk) 11:22, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps some of the rest of the article needs rewording if there are unsourced conclusions in it. And I don't think we need single-source quotes in the lead, we can surely summarise the article without contravening Wiki policy and without wrongly asserting or insinuating culpability. And 'allegedly' is not inappropriate, it is standard practice to use it in the UK before a trial has taken place - I think it would be very inappropriate to leave it out. -- DeFacto (talk). 11:34, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, perhaps. I don't see how a statement such as "Sacoolas admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road when she collided with 19-year-old Dunn in August" insinuates anything. I have yet to see any source whatsoever that suggests Sacoolas did not cause Dunn to die, because the car she was driving, on the wrong side of the road, collided with his motorcycle. Her culpability is not in dispute. The point that has yet to be proven is whether or not she is guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:48, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

I think the version of the lead section we know have, recently adjusted by DeFacto, is fully acceptable. I think he should be thanked for his efforts. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:43, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Hello all - have just made a small modification to reflect what has been reported in respect of 'admitted', and this includes adding references. This added before I noted recently additions to this discussion. Further details inc. quotes listed in a new section below. Trusting such is agreeable, although if not I ask for respectful discussions here rather than the aggression I recently received on my Talk page (although from none from the persons in the above discussions)--SnowyMalone (talk) 11:37, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Foreign Office declines to comment on reports Anne Sacoolas was CIA officer[edit]

I don't know this subject well, but this seems an important thing to include

Harry Dunn's family seek answers over reports Anne Sacoolas was CIA officer

John Cummings (talk) 12:39, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

Yes, I would support addition. The only problem might be that the original source was the Daily Mail. Even without the CIA claim, the comments made by Jeremy Hunt and Robert Jenrick on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday are probably worth mention. I note also that The Guardian source you provide says, yet again, quite clearly: "after the car she was driving stuck Dunn’s motorbike outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire" (see thread above). Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:49, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I think if we say something like "On 8 February, the Daily Mail reported that Sacoolas was a former CIA officer, which was then picked up by other publications. The following day, Jenrick and Hunt were asked on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday about this, but said etc etc" then it should be good. PotentPotables (talk) 14:31, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Sounds good. I see now, on social meejah, that Radd Seiger is claiming that Sacoolas' employment was "common knowledge" in Whitehall and he is calling for a formal enquiry. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:43, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Agreed, the info should certainly be added. It's been pretty obvious from the start that Sacoolas, her husband or both are CIA spooks not 'diplomats'. The UK government has shamefully connived at keeping this quiet, presumably because they are afraid of Trump's tantrums. --Ef80 (talk) 14:51, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I think we should wait for an RS to substantiate it, because without that, we are relying on a second-hand account of a story from a "deprecated" source, the Mail, a source described as having a "reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism, and flat-out fabrication" in the closer's remarks on this RfC. -- DeFacto (talk). 15:04, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Sky reports here that is has "confirmed" the story. I think this is a case where use of the word "alleged" would be quite fair. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:36, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Mentioned in The Guardian (Harry Dunn's family seek answers over reports Anne Sacoolas was CIA officer), The Indy ([2], HuffPost ([3]), ITV ([4], The Mirror (US woman accused of killing British teenager Harry Dunn was a 'senior CIA spy') and The Telegraph (Harry Dunn's mother is 'livid' she was not told Anne Sacoolas was a CIA agent)— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I don't think DeFacto has any problem with widespread coverage, but rather with the origin of the story being the Daily Mail. I wait his response to the Sky claim. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:47, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, all those stories are based on that in the Mail, and do not magically make it reliable. -- DeFacto (talk). 17:17, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Sky doesn't say what it "confirms" though, other than she "had a background in the CIA". They then rely on the Mail story to put the "spy" spin on it. What worthwhile information can we add that is supported by Sky source? -- DeFacto (talk). 17:17, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Well, currently the article says nothing about any "background in the CIA"? Martinevans123 (talk) 17:19, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Nothing about the Daily Mail with these 'How could they do this to us?': Harry Dunn’s mother attacks Government after Anne Sacoolas spy claim, Harry Dunn's family seek answers over reports Anne Sacoolas was CIA officer, Harry Dunn: Parents reject apology from Anne Sacoolas as they fly to the United States — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A00:23C5:9313:B900:6860:8002:75BF:F0B3 (talk) 17:25, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Well - the MSN reproduction of a Guardian article certainly does: "a report in the Mail on Sunday", the Telegraph article is from October 2019 and doesn't mention her having a CIA background anyway, and the ITV one doesn't say which newspaper they mean when they say "fresh reports in a British newspaper" - but, as far as we know, it was only the Mail that said that stuff about being a spy before then. -- DeFacto (talk). 17:50, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Could you explain what sources you would consider acceptable ... and it would be unrealistic to expect any source to note ‘this is nothing to do with the Daily Mail.’ Or what wording you would currently consider acceptable for the article, and note that multiple recognised news outlets have reported this, and with some quoting Harry Dunn’s mother and some without any reference The Daily Mail. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:54, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I think you need to read WP:OR, WP:V, WP:RS and WP:Perennial sources, at least. Then you should be in a better position to judge how to use sources and what sources to use for yourself. -- DeFacto (talk). 18:26, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
All read, and yet none answer the questions that I asked of you. Would you answer these ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:33, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Harry Dunn accused Anne Sacoolas ‘was known to be a CIA spy’ from The Sunday Times Harry Dunn family angry that Raab ‘hid driver’s CIA past’, which is the sister publication of The Times, a Newspaper of record
A statement by the offical advisor to Harry Dunn's family must be classed as notable, see HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO US? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:33, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

Later developments[edit]

With regard to this revert, why does that material "rely on Daily Mail-sourced info"? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:35, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

The following edit Death of Harry Dunn has been reverted pending agreement on the talk pages. Note: (i) the content is notable & well-sourced, and (ii) to date only one person has objected and this without making constructive input. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:46, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
It uses sources that rely on content from the Mail. -- DeFacto (talk). 13:52, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
It reports comments from two senior goverment ministers, an offical annoucement by Harry Dunn's family and a newspaper of record.SnowyMalone (talk) 13:58, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
So the Daily Mail suggested that Sacoolas worked for the CIA. Because of this, all these WP:RS reports of the reactions to that suggestion, cannot be allowed? But all of these were published on the basis of their own independent editorial decisions? This seems to be a breach of WP:CENSORED. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:10, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
No, it was a standard BRD revert, with a couple of added discussion points. -- DeFacto (talk). 14:16, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. Your edit summary also says "is non-neutral". I wonder could you expand on that? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:19, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
It uses judgmental language with which it imples an opinion and an, as yet, not fully understood assertion as facts. All contrary to WP:NPOV. 15:12, 10 February 2020 (UTC)-- DeFacto (talk
The content, and tone, is based on the cited reputable sources, such as The Times. I see no opinion apart from the 'facts' being comments from notable persons which are appropriatley referenced. However, suggestions for modifications are welcome.--SnowyMalone (talk) 15:27, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
I must have missed the "judgmental language". Judgements fully attributed to people and/or publications are something else, aren't they. To what did you object specifically? Thnaks. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:09, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Bit late to this, but the claim here has now become widely asserted and verified by a number of sources. No further question in my mind that the information is notable and should be included in the article, as per Sky and the Sunday Times. Llemiles (talk) 19:58, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
To what did you object specifically? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:29, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Unlike the news media, which often editorialises, sensationalises and places undue weight on certain aspects of stories, or gives undue prominence to the opinions of opinionated individuals, we should present information in a neutral and objective fashion, using plain and direct language, and allow the reader to draw their own conclusions. There are certain words (and their derivatives) which may inherently introduce bias, and which can easily be avoided and replaced with more neutral alternatives. -- DeFacto (talk). 11:40, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Ok, so if you could identify the "certain words", perhaps that material could be re-added? It seems significant that leading UK politicians have commented, and that the family have changed their mind about the government's part in this. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:44, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
That "material" was edit-warred back in within 15 minutes of me removing it, and last time I looked, it was all still there. -- DeFacto (talk). 12:57, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
You feel unable to bring yourself to adjust the offending words? Perhaps you could drop hints here to allow others to try. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:18, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
What's the point - I apparently have a totally different view than the other contributors here as to what the difference is between newspaper-style editorialising and encyclopaedic content? Ho hum. -- DeFacto (talk). 21:14, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
I have now copy edited that passage. I do not see any biased wording. I think it's all encyclopedic and appropriate. The Daily Mail is not cited or mentioned. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:52, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello all - I support the current version [5]--SnowyMalone (talk) 16:33, 12 February 2020 (UTC)


For reason currently unclear it appears one contributor disagrees with noting that Sacoolas has admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road. However, this has been widely reported and by multiple recognised sources. Consequently, the text has been modified to reflect this reporting and references of this reporting has been added.

References, more than included in the article, along with appropriate quotes are:

  • ‘Sacoolas admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road when she collided’[1]
  • ‘She admitted she was driving on the wrong side of the road’[2]
  • ‘Sacoolas is charged with causing death by dangerous driving and admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road before the fatal crash’[3]
  • ‘has broken her silence and admitted driving on the wrong side of the road.’[4]
  • ‘Anne Sacoolas has admitted driving on wrong side of the road in crash that killed Harry Dunn’[5]
  • ‘Anne Sacoolas, the American wife of a US intelligence officer who has admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road before the collision.’[6]
  • ‘Anne Sacoolas has admitted she was driving on the wrong side of the road after claiming diplomatic immunity in the United States’[7]
  • ’Anne Sacoolas is married to a US diplomat, and since leaving the country, admitted hitting the teenager - who was riding a motorbike - when driving on the wrong side of the road.’[8]
  • ‘wife of a US diplomat who admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road, before fleeing the country.’[9]
  • ‘The US diplomat’s wife suspected of being involved in a hit-and-run crash that killed Harry Dunn has admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road at the time.’[10]
  • ‘She later admitted through her lawyers that she was driving on the wrong side of the road when the collision took place.’[11]
  • ‘Anne Sacoolas' legal team have admitted she drove down the wrong side of the road before ploughing head-on into Harry Dunn.’[12]
  • ‘Anne Sacoolas has broken her silence and admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road before the 19-year-old motorcyclist's death.’[13]
  • ‘was hit by Anne Sacoolas, who admits driving on the wrong side of the road near a British military base used by the United States.’[14]

--SnowyMalone (talk) 11:22, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

I have no problem with the word "stated". But I did not realise the case for "admitted", based on sources, seems so strong. I don't think it makes any difference in law. So no objection to using that word if consensus can be reached. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:39, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello Martin - I suggest there needs to be a strong reason, which is supported / agreed, not to follow the references.
I think we should avoid the use of such loaded words per WP:WTA. -- DeFacto (talk). 12:11, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello Defacto - if the content of the article is based on the references then 'admitted' is valid, and this also avoids editorialising (as per a recent edit summary of yours.)--SnowyMalone (talk) 12:18, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
I totally disagree. This is an encyclopaedia, not a newspaper, so we should use the appropriate style per WP:NEWSSTYLE. -- DeFacto (talk). 12:34, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello Defacto - encyclopaedias should report what is known, and this should be verifiable .. and in this case it is 'admitted'--SnowyMalone (talk) 13:03, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello SnowyMalone, what's wrong with using "said" or "stated" per WP:SAID, where it says: "be judicious in the use of admit, confess, reveal, and deny, particularly for living people, because these verbs can inappropriately imply culpability." Why would we choose not to follow that advice and risk inappropriately implying something that have have no way of knowing whether it is true or not? -- DeFacto (talk). 18:53, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello Defacto - because 'admitted' is what has been widely reported including from a Newspaper of record and as her lawyers have quoted. And whilst not presented directly as further support for the use of 'admitted' I note the acceptance of this is very, very widespread .. and this includes the POTUS (see [6])--SnowyMalone (talk) 20:47, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
@SnowyMalone: what do you think "admitted" adds, that is missing with "said" or "stated"? -- DeFacto (talk). 20:55, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello Defacto - I see nothing amiss with 'admitted' .. this has been widely reported by many reputable sources. And other than on this talk page, and seemingly just you, it doesn't appear controversial, and this includes her lawyers, the police in charge of the investigation and the US President.--SnowyMalone (talk) 21:06, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
@SnowyMalone: that wasn't what I asked. What do you think the article would lose if we used "said" or "stated" instead? -- DeFacto (talk). 21:20, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
DeFacto, I'm a bit confused. You say "...implying something that [we] have no way of knowing whether it is true or not?" We know it's true because she said it, she admitted it, she confessed it, she insisted it, whatever.... Or are you saying she was lying? She made a mistake? Or it was all invented?? Martinevans123 (talk) 21:26, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
@Martinevans123: yes, we know she said she had been on the wrong side of the road, but that isn't the point here. The point is whether the use of "admitted", a loaded term as described in WP:SAID which could inappropriately imply culpability, is acceptable. And it is the culpability that we have no information on, the police have not shared any of the results of their investigations with us. When we can easily use a neutral and accurate word instead, and are advised to do so, why pick the potentially troublesome word? -- DeFacto (talk). 21:48, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, "admitted" seems to have some connotation of guilt, doesn't it. But quite regardless of any legal implications, I'd say she was guilty. In the UK it's a cultural norm to drive on the left. She would have been equally guilty of breaching this norm if she had collided with no-one. And if no-one had even seen her. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:11, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
@Martinevans123: but we don't have any reliable sources saying she is guilty (your opinion doesn't fall into that category) and as we haven't seen the results of the police investigation, we don't know why she was on that side of the road, or how she ended up there, or how fast the car and the bike were travelling when the collision occurred or whether there were any mechanical problems with either vehicle or whether alcohol was involved or whether the road had potholes or ... This is getting ridiculous now. You're argument boils down to: as "[you'd] say she was guilty", we do not need to fully apply the Wiki guidelines that are there to help avoid inappropriately implying culpability! -- DeFacto (talk). 22:27, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
No, not ridiculous at all. As I've already said, I have no problem with the word "said". All of the circumstances, even the tragic outcome, are irrelevant. She admitted the car was on the wrong side of the road. I am fully prepared to believe her. As did Mr Trump. I'm making no judgement on the legal charge as laid. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:34, 11 February 2020 (UTC) p.s. "or whether alcohol was involved"?? She was breathalised and found negative. Or are you suggesting Dunn was intoxicated?
Hello Defacto - your concerns with the alleged legal implications of 'admitted' are not shared by two sets of lawyers: her's in respect of prejudicing any criminal case and the bereaved family in respect of being open to a charge of libel.
Hello Defacto - "content is determined by previously published information rather than the beliefs or experiences of its editors."[7] And in this case previously (multiple) published information is 'admitted'.--SnowyMalone (talk) 21:56, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
@SnowyMalone: yes, nothing that I'm saying conflicts with WP:VER. If a reader checks the source to see if she said what we say she 'said', they'll find it supports our statement. The use of the word "admitted" in the source doesn't mean she hadn't "said" it, in fact it means she had. And we would get the bonus of adhering to the advice given in WP:NEWSSTYLE too, by avoiding the use of editorialisation, which is something that newspaper reports specialise in, and that we should not copy. -- DeFacto (talk). 22:09, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello DeFacto - the current text is neither sensationalist nor in newstlye, and that she admitted is non-controversial. The only editorialisation is your suggestion. And at the risk of going yet deeper into this rabbit hole .. The use of the word "admitted" in the source doesn't mean she hadn't "said" it, in fact it means she had.: no that is speculation as she could have written the admission.--SnowyMalone (talk) 22:21, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
@SnowyMalone: so why not use "stated" then, rather than the troublesome word? -- DeFacto (talk). 22:30, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
I am not sure we should report "what is known", but we should use the words RS use. This really is semantics, Yes she appears yo have admitted it (and has not denied it) thus we can say it.Slatersteven (talk) 13:41, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
@Slatersteven: don't you think that given the advice in WP:NEWSSTYLE, which says: Wikipedia is not written in news style (in any sense other than some use of the inverted pyramid, above), including tone. The encyclopedic and journalistic intent and audience are different. Especially avoid bombastic wording, attempts at humor or cleverness, reliance on primary sources, editorializing, recentism, pull quotes, journalese, and headlinese., and given what WP:SAID says about the use of words like "admit": be judicious in the use of admit, confess, reveal, and deny, particularly for living people, because these verbs can inappropriately imply culpability., that we should avoid the use of "admitted", and replace it with something more encyclopaedic and less like newspaper editorialising? After all, "said" or "stated" convey the same basic information, without sensationalising or putting a non-neutral spin on it. -- DeFacto (talk). 20:15, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello Defacto - hope it's OK that I jump in even though your questions were to someone else .. I take it this is an open discussion. I have read the guidance documents to which you linked. Of these I see nothing in 'News style or persuasive writing' which precludes the use of 'admitted'. In respect of 'Synonyms for said', I note that admit is listed in 'Words to watch', although this is not the same as 'Words not to use'.--SnowyMalone (talk) 20:47, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
No, as it is talking about click bait style wording, not issues of pure semantics. If someone admits something they have admitted it.Slatersteven (talk) 15:36, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

Admitted - convenience break #001[edit]

[The discussion has gone a bit too multi-thread for me to cope with now, so I am going to flatten it all here...]

SnowyMalone wrote: I suggest there needs to be a strong reason, which is supported / agreed, not to follow the references. I don't think anyone has ever suggested not following the references. The only issue is the vocabulary we use whilst following those references. There are good reasons given in WP:SAID and WP:NEWSSTYLE to avoid certain words, and there is a choice of alternative words which are neutral and which convey the underlying fact supported by the references. And Martinevans123 wrote: I've already said, I have no problem with the word "said" and Snowy didn't say what they thought the article would lose if we used "said" or "stated" instead of "admitted", so can anyone suggest any sound policy-based reasons to ignore the advice given in WP:SAID and WP:NEWSSTYLE and stick with "admitted", rather than use a more neutral alternative word?

Martin also wrote: I'm making no judgement on the legal charge as laid and Snowy wrote: your concerns with the alleged legal implications of 'admitted' are not shared by two sets of lawyers... Neither are the concern here though. All I am concerned with here is that we uphold Wikipedia's policy of neutrality. Whatever our personal instincts tell us about this case, we should not allow them to taint what we write. We should simply present the cold bare (and fully supported) facts, in an as neutral way as possible, and let the reader draw their own conclusions.

Unless any sound new policy-based arguments are offered to move this discussion forward, I will leave it at that for now. -- DeFacto (talk). 07:35, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

The advice at WP:SAID says this: "Similarly, be judicious in the use of admit, confess, reveal, and deny, particularly for living people, because these verbs can inappropriately imply culpability." Are you suggesting that Sacoolas was not culpable of driving in the wrong side of the road? Do you agree that admitting to driving on the wrong side of the road does not amount to admitting to causing death by dangerous driving? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:54, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
All we know from the sources is that she drove on the wrong side of the road. We do not know if she was culpable for that action though, because the word used in the sources ("admitted"), is (deliberately for editorial effect?) ambiguous.
I agree that culpability for driving on the wrong side of the road does not amount to culpability for causing death by dangerous driving - but - if the action of driving on the wrong side of the road turns out to be the cause, or even the main (or even a significant) contributory factor, of any catastrophic event that followed, then it is not so clear-cut. -- DeFacto (talk). 11:32, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
Hmmm, yes. I think I see your point. She might have been forced onto the wrong side of the road by faulty steering, a fallen tree, a pedestrian in the carriageway... whatever. Until we know that kind of detail, we can't say it was entirely her fault the car was on the wrong side, yes? I think use of the word "admitted" may be a bit of a grey area; it's not obviously biased, it's not wholly neutral. I'd also guess that the car being on the wrong side was almost certainly the prime cause of the collision and the resultant death. But that's just based on the nature of the charge brought by the CPS. I obviously can't know any other details. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:02, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello all - it appears uncontested that Anne Sacoolas has admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road. The acceptance of this includes her lawyers, reputable newspapers (including ones not just in the UK, and a newspaper of record) and the POTUS. Importantly this admission is of driving on the wrong side of the road, not an admission of a criminal offence. She has been charged with a criminal offence, causing death by dangerous driving, but this is outside this discussion.
The use of 'admitted' in the current text does not, as DeFactor appears to suggest, 'ignore the advice given in WP:SAID and WP:NEWSSTYLE'. Nothing in WP:NEWSSTYLE relates to the word 'admitted'. The policy of WP:SAID does mention 'admit', however it does not ban its use, rather it advises to 'be judicious in the use'. Based on an online definition of judicious ('having or showing reason and good judgment in making decisions'[8]) both of these criteria have been demonstrated:
  • her admission is accepted and uncontroversial.
  • 'admitted' is used widely in the references supporting the text.
DeFacto's wish to 'convey the underlying fact supported by the references' is met by the use of 'admitted' (again, this is the word used in multiple references)
In respect of DeFacto comment 'We should simply present the cold bare (and fully supported) facts': the current text, using 'admitted', does this. Similarly, the current text is consistent with his comment to 'uphold Wikipedia's policy of neutrality.'
His advice of 'Whatever our personal instincts tell us about this case, we should not allow them to taint what we write.' supports the use of the widely reported 'admitted'. It does not support deFacto's preference of an alternative of his own preference. Trawling through a thesaurus for a synonym for one personal preference risks WP:EDITORIALIZING, and an example is DeFacto's suggestion of using 'said' rather 'admitted'. Not only does 'said' not reflect the references but it is speculation as she could have written the admission. Caution would also be needed with, for example, 'statement', as it could be misconstrued as being a official statement to the police. And not using its associated declensions would avoid any ambiguity.
Further speculation is the claim that 'because the word used in the sources ("admitted"), is (deliberately for editorial effect?) ambiguous.' The word has been widely used by multiple sources, and to suggest all reporters and editors are exercising the same obscuration is, with no disrespect, bizarre.
The current is not in newspaper-style, and is strongly supported by appropriate references, and:
  • she has 'admitted', and this has both been (seemingly without challenge) accepted and reported.
  • the use of 'admitted' is not sensationalist, and does not contravene any Wikipedia's guidelines or policies.
--SnowyMalone (talk) 12:28, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
"POTUS, SCHMOTUS". But yes, I get your drift. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:30, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
Admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road has not been caveated by any claims this was not due to negligence. Ho claims (by her) she was forced onto the other side. Thus we have an admission without any reason to doubt its truth or accuracy.Slatersteven (talk) 13:07, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
I would tend to agree with you. (I assume you mean "No claims"). Martinevans123 (talk) 13:27, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes I did.Slatersteven (talk) 10:08, 15 February 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ "U.S. refuses to extradite Anne Sacoolas, diplomat's wife charged with killing a British teen Harry Dunn - The Washington Post".
  2. ^ Board, Post Editorial (January 25, 2020). "Trump should waive diplomatic immunity for Anne Sacoolas".
  3. ^ "Harry Dunn family 'sickened' by Anne Sacoolas driving again as they team up with Epstein accusers".
  4. ^ "Harry Dunn crash death: US diplomat's wife Anne Sacoolas 'admits driving on wrong side of road'".
  5. ^ Badshah, Nadeem (November 30, 2019). "Archbishop of Canterbury demands wife of US diplomat be extradited to UK" – via
  6. ^ editor, Patrick Wintour Diplomatic (October 25, 2019). "Harry Dunn death: family launches three separate legal actions" – via maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Smith, Louie; Hainey, Fionnula (October 15, 2019). "US diplomat's wife breaks silence over crash that killed teenage biker". men.
  8. ^ "Raab admits Foreign Office asked police to delay telling Harry Dunn's family Anne Sacoolas had left UK". ITV News.
  9. ^ Davies, Gareth; Johnson, Jamie; Hardy, Jack (October 22, 2019). "Police chief in charge of Harry Dunn car crash case says he would not do anything differently as he admits his officers missed two opportunities to arrest diplomat's wife" – via
  10. ^ "Anne Sacoolas 'says she's terribly sorry' over Harry Dunn crash". Evening Standard. October 15, 2019.
  11. ^ "UK to seek extradition of US woman after charging her with crash death". euronews. December 20, 2019.
  12. ^ Smith, Louie (October 14, 2019). "US spy's wife's legal team say she was driving on wrong side of road". mirror.
  13. ^ Smith, Louie (October 15, 2019). "US spy's wife in death crash row says she spoke to teen as he lay dying". dailyrecord.
  14. ^ "Trump's 'bombshell' offer to family of teen killed in car crash: Diplomat's wife is in next room". NBC News.

Volvo XC90[edit]

Why would the article have an active live link to "Volvo XC90" in the lead? Is this so important for the death of Harry Dunn?--Betterreadable (talk) 16:57, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

The relative size, weight and strength of a vehicle can have a direct effect on the likelihood of a fatality arising from any collision. Volvos are amongst the heaviest cars in the UK. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:09, 12 February 2020 (UTC) p.s. I note that your recent edits have nothing to do with your question here?
Hello Betterreadable - internal hyperlinks are very common within Wikipedia.--SnowyMalone (talk) 17:24, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
I wanted to suggest 'Volvo station car' in the lead but wanted to check first if 'XC90' is important in the lead or could go in the article body as it is very specific and most people don't know the various models of the various brands anyway these days. Additionally, this hyperlink will probably not age well because in the future there will be a picture of an XC90 upgrade that didn't even exist when the accident happened. If the criteria for hyperlinks is the more the better and that they are just common, then 'car' and 'United Kingdom' and 'lane' should also be hyperlinked? --Betterreadable (talk) 19:00, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello Betterreadable -
  • 'Volvo station car': no. That term is unknown in the UK, and a number of other English-speaking countries, and being an article with very strong links to the UK this needs to be a consideration.
  • 'hyperlink will probably not age well because in the future there will be a picture of an XC90 upgrade': based on Wikipedia articles on other cars which have gone through upgrades, the information on older versions is maintained as the article develops.
  • 'car' and 'United Kingdom' and 'lane' should also be hyperlinked': please excuse me from being blunt, but that is a silly suggestion.
  • As noted internal hyperlinks are common. I really think you're barking up the wrong tree to challenge.
--SnowyMalone (talk) 19:07, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
The make and model of the car seems to have been important in the police identification of the vehicle via CCTV footage. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:35, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

He collided[edit]

Hello all - a recent change [9] has introduced 'he collided with a car travelling in the wrong direction in his lane.' into the opening paragraph. Picking up from recent, above on this page, discussions about the neutrality of language, could this recent change be interpreted as to imply that Harry Dunn was responsible? Could a more neutral description be used?--SnowyMalone (talk) 17:14, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

I tend to agree with you. I don't think that change was an improvement. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:20, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello Martin - thank you. I'm being a little cautious given the difficulties with the above discussions about one word! Do you think just restore the earlier version now, or wait for the input of others?--SnowyMalone (talk) 17:22, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
User:Betterreadable may wish to defend their edit. Other editors may wish to offer their views. I agree that wording of everything in the lead section may be somewhat sensitive and/or contentious. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:26, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
Actually, my rephrasing was meant to make the kind of accident more clear, not less clear. Obviously, according to sources Anne Sacoolas was wrong-way driving, also called 'ghost driving', and I thought colliding with a wrong-way driver is something one can easily understand. I think any 'neutrality of language' is not an issue with this sentence as it is just what sources say happened. But maybe there is a way to phrase it even better. Being too overly cautious can lead to a text that is not really a good read anymore.--Betterreadable (talk) 18:31, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello Betterreadable - my comment about being a little cautious is about making changes without discussing them first: you can see from the loooong talk page even the use of a single word can be fractious. In the case of your recent change, it seems advisable for you to consider a change, and suggest here before posting, given that very soon after your recent change two contributors have expressed unease.--SnowyMalone (talk) 18:35, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

I understand, but still you wouldn't write "collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction" if you really meant colliding with a 'ghost driver in your lane'. It is just a bit misleading and far away from language you would normally use --Betterreadable (talk)

Hello Betterreadbale - you were not happy with a previous version, and two others have expressed being uncomfortable with your recent change. However, it is not a binary choice. Given it's was you who made the change it does not appear unreasonable to suggest you make suggestions, and this/these on the Talk Page. And I'd strongly suggest not using 'ghost driver'.--SnowyMalone (talk) 18:56, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
I didn't suggest to use he term 'ghost driver' even though it is exactly what was the case according to sources. The text was just so complicated phrased that it was not easy to understand if you didn't know the facts anyway --Betterreadable (talk) 19:05, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello Betterreadbale - your suggestions are welcome on the Talk page.--SnowyMalone (talk) 20:13, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
You mean, other contributors and you can directly edit the article but I should only edit after your review on the talk page? Kidding? Nice try... --Betterreadable (talk) 18:38, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
Betterreadable, you've been editing at Wikipedia for just over 1 day, only at this article. You have made a total number of 12 edits, two of which I reverted, as they didn't look like improvements. It is sometimes better to start off gently and get advice from other more experienced editors? Some of the topics in this article are proving to be contentious. So I think it's best if we all tread carefully, ok? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:47, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

You seem to be working under the assumption that Wikipedia contributors with more free time on their hands also have superior skills to assess what are summary improvements and what are not. I would argue that too much free time for a task does not always benefit the result as some people tend to get lost in (unnecessary?) details and thereby might even lose the big picture of what is essential in a summary.

Why would one have the three sentences “The car …was said to have been driven by Anne Sacoolas”, “Sacoolas admitted that she had been driving the car”, and “police said … they also believed that [this] was the case” is a summary of an article if this fact is not even disputed? Why should a summary reader care how many people state the same thing about an undisputed well sourced fact?

Why should the summary reader be forced to read so much redundant information and be deprived of interesting information like that Anne Sacoolas didn’t return to UK until now (what you deleted without explanation).

My view is that people who are experienced in abstracting and seeing the big picture would tend to have my assessment of what are “improvements” in this summary. But it seems that contributors with more time on their hands feel to have gained superior judgement and even feel empowered to revert without explanation and comment “didn't look like improvements”. --Betterreadable (talk) 07:55, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for discussing here. I still think that "it" (meaning the motorcycle) is preferable to "he" (meaning Dunn himself). As far as we know, he was still riding the motorcycle when the collision occurred. I tend to agree with you about the repetition; the CCTV detail could just appear in the main body, if we can agree that Sacoolas' own admission is sufficient. But, up to now, DeFacto has not agreed to this. Wikipedia tends not to make statements like "hasn't returned to UK until now" as it's not a newspaper, and instead needs to "future proof". If and when she does return, I'm sure that would appear in the lead as a significant event. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:46, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
@Martinevans123: what you say about my position is not true. My point was about vocabulary, but that led other editors to seem to think that repeating it somehow proved that I was wrong. I agree with Betterreadable that it only needs saying once, but we need to be very carefull in our chooce of vocabulary per WP:WTA and per WP:BLPCRIME. -- DeFacto (talk). 10:16, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Oh, apologies. Thanks for clarifying. So we are all agreed on that point. What would you propose? Martinevans123 (talk) 10:22, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
I'd go with something like this for the first paragraph:

Harry Dunn was a 19 year old British man who died following a road traffic collision, on 27 August 2019. He was riding his motorcycle near Croughton, Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom, near the exit to RAF Croughton, when it collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction. The car, a Volvo XC90, was said to have been driven on the wrong side of the road by Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US government employee working at the United States Air Force listening station at RAF Croughton, and formerly involved in espionage with the US Central Intelligence Agency. Dunn was pronounced dead at the Major Trauma Centre of John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

Including a fix to the summary of what this article tells us about her CIA role. -- DeFacto (talk). 10:43, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
That's a very clear summary. Happy to see mention of her CIA connection. However, I think the phrase "was said to have been driven" does not accurately reflect either what has been extensively reported (see "Admitted" thread above) nor what is currently explained in the article main body. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:53, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
She acknowledged herself, which was widely editorialised in news articles as "admitted", that she was driving the car, and on the wrong side of the road, and the car was said by police to have been seen on CCTV footage on the wrong side of the road, my summary covers both, and neutrally. -- DeFacto (talk). 11:11, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, overall I think your proposal is certainly an improvement. But I am prepared to see her driving on the wrong side of the road as a simple fact. To my mind the phrase "was said to have" allows that she may not have been driving. I suggest we see what the other two interested editors, Slatersteven and SnowyMalone, have to say first. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:19, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
But it's not known to be a simple fact, whilst it's still unproven. Do you remember the Chris Huhne/Vicky Pryce incident? -- DeFacto (talk). 11:30, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
She said this herself (or may have written it down, we don't know). I don't see how we could have a more reliable source. I had no problem with your earlier suggestion of the word "stated" instead of "admitted". Betterreadable may wish to comment here too, of course. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:46, 14 February 2020 (UTC) p.s. yes I do remember the Huhne/Pryce, but that has no bearing whatsoever on this case.

But that case shows an example of why you can't assume "admissions" are necessarily factually accurate. We need proof per WP:BLPCRIME and WP:WIKIVOICE to state something such as that as fact in Wikipedia's voice. -- DeFacto (talk). 12:04, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

We can agree that Sacoolas stated this as if it were a fact. So what's wrong with having "Sacoolas stated she was driving"? If it later turns out she was lying (which seems somewhat unlikely to me), her statement will still stand in the chronology as a notable fact. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:11, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, but then we're back to repeating the bit about driving on the wrong side from what the police said. Show us your proposed wording and we can see how it looks. -- DeFacto (talk). 12:20, 14 February 2020 (UTC)s
I see no need to mention the police. I'll hold off any new proposal until the others have commented on yours above. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:27, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Okay, if we leave out what the police said they saw on the CCTV, we could put something like this:

Harry Dunn was a 19 year old British man who died following a road traffic collision, on 27 August 2019. He was riding his motorcycle near Croughton, Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom, near the exit to RAF Croughton, when it collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction. Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US government employee working at the United States Air Force listening station at RAF Croughton, and formerly involved in espionage with the US Central Intelligence Agency, stated that she was driving the car, a Volvo XC90, on the wrong side of the road. Dunn was pronounced dead at the Major Trauma Centre of John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

What do you think? -- DeFacto (talk). 14:17, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
No objections. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:30, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
I think stated is the wrong word. Whilst all admissions are statements not all statements are admissions.If I says this post is by slatersteven that is an admission if (say) Martinevans123 says it its not, both however are statements as to who posted it. Also I do not agree with "when it collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction" as this weaseles the situation, she was driving (by her own admission) in the wrong lane, this wording can be seen as implying he may have been.Slatersteven (talk) 10:15, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

If I may, I would propose the following lead, connecting the dots for the reader who hasn't read the sources himself:

Harry Dunn was a 19 year old British man who died following a road traffic collision, on 27 August 2019. He was riding his motorcycle near Croughton, Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom, near the exit to RAF Croughton, when it collided frontally with a car travelling in the wrong direction in his lane. Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US government employee working at the US base at RAF Croughton, stated that she was driving the car, a Volvo XC90, on the right side of the road obviously failing to recall that the United Kingdom has left-hand traffic. Dunn was pronounced dead at the Major Trauma Centre of John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

The investigation of the incident has been impaired by the fact that Sacoolas fled the country shortly thereafter for the United States and rejected to return claiming diplomatic immunity. It also emerged that the United States government had advised, then helped Sacoolas to flee the country and that she was formerly involved in espionage with the US Central Intelligence Agency.

The incident with its additional public revelations led to a diplomatic row between the United Kingdom and the United States and the personal involvement of the respective country heads Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. Yet the gridlock could not be solved and Sacoolas stayed in the United States.

On 20 December 2019 the Crown Prosecution Service said that Sacoolas was to be charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

One might keep in mind that this is a Wikipedia summary and not a court protocol. It is ok to have an understandable story line and to connect the dots in accordance with the sources.--Betterreadable (talk) 13:15, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

That sums it all up. Yeas I can go with this.Slatersteven (talk) 13:24, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
Betterreadable, how does this differ from the current version? I wonder could you possibly highlight the differences? Many thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:34, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
I will copy it into the article and you can spot the "Difference between revisions" in the "View history" tab --Betterreadable (talk) 20:02, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
It might be better if you just highlight it here with bold, or in coloured text like this? Then we will know what we are discussing? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:13, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

Slatersteven has deemed it ok, no other improvement proposals in the last days, it is only 8 sentences, so I dare to put it in the article and everybody can improve it from there (if anyone wants to make his private diffs vs talk page versions or vs previous article versions he/she should be able to do it with any text editor)--Betterreadable (talk) 17:06, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

I'm very sorry, but we don't just rely on Slatersteven to decide what's a improvement here. I've reverted so we can discuss before it gets added? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:18, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Anne Sacoolas working for CIA - relevance to family[edit]

The importance of this to the family seems to be that they feel the Government knew all along and never told them, hoping that the matter would all be "kicked all under the carpet." Family spokesman Radd Seiger's statement is here. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:29, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

Why would they expect to be party to that information, and what relevance does it have to the subject of this article? -- DeFacto (talk). 22:44, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
You're suggesting that Dunn's family did not deserve to be told the truth and that their feelings have "no relevance" to the death of their son? Martinevans123 (talk) 22:47, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
No, neither. I'm looking for the justification for including their interest in the career history of Sacoolas. -- DeFacto (talk). 07:02, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
If Jeremy Corbyn thinks the topic is sufficiently notable to ask Boris Johnson about it in the House of Commons, I think it's notable enough to be included in this article. Martinevans123 (talk) 08:49, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

In my opinion this is "relevant" as it might have provided a reason or why Sacoolas was allowed to return home. This seems to be what the family now think. It might be more productive to discuss the topic here first, before repeatedly adding Template:Importance section and/or removing content? Martinevans123 (talk) 22:40, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

It's currently not made clear in the article what the importance or relevance of this content is. Hence the template. -- DeFacto (talk). 22:46, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
I added the quotes from Dunn's mother and Seiger to demonstrate the relevance, but you removed them 11 minutes later? Martinevans123 (talk) 22:52, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
We don't need more quotes, what we need is a duly weighted and reliably sourced account (of whatever this section is about) and not just a bunch of, apparently, random sound bites. -- DeFacto (talk). 07:05, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
We don't need warning information templates slapped on the article when it's being actively edited and several editors are already engaged in discussions here? As far as I understand it, the section covers "later developments", including detail about Sacoolas, the accused party, and the UK government's dealings with the family. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:39, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
That isn't a "warning template", it's an information template, and it was placed there for a very good and very appropriate reason. The relevance (and quality for that matter) of that new content is disputed, and I think an appropriate way to proceed if the "R" in BRD is not honoured by the editor being "B", is to place that template to inform readers that that content is disputed for those reasons. -- DeFacto (talk). 10:34, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
I've amended my comment. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:38, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello DeFacto -
  • "..what we need is a duly weighted and reliably sourced account": The current text is reliably sourced. Would you explain your specific concerns of the current text in respect of "duly weighted"?
  • "not just a bunch of, apparently, random sound bites.": As this is an inaccurate description of the current content further comments are not possible.
  • Perhaps you could suggest some modifications to the text.
--SnowyMalone (talk) 14:07, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
I note that DeFacto has made some changes the text and with input by Martinevans123. I assume this subject is now at rest.--SnowyMalone (talk) 14:32, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello DeFacto - I struggle to understand how you can realistically claim this development is not notable. As has been noted previously, notability is highlighted by statements from the family, wide-scale reports in reputable newspapers (and newspapers of record) and comments from two senior government ministers. Whilst not wishing to be insulting your recent actions with tagging and deleting appear to be peevish reactions after two discussions on these talk pages were characterised by other contributors disagreeing with you. And deletion of sizeable amounts of text without prior discussion is unconstructive. I support Martin's view this development is interesting in respect of her prompt return to home, and perhaps also the great reluctance of the US government to allow her extradition--SnowyMalone (talk) 22:59, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
I didn't say it wasn't notable (although I am yet to be convinced that it is). I'm looking for the section to be written in a logical and reliably sourced way that makes it clear what we're saying here. At the moment, it appears as a random collection of quotes, with no prose explaining their relevance or justifying their inclusion. Don't try and link my doubts over the encyclopaedic value of the contents of this section with my reservations about the unnecessary use of loaded terminology in other parts of the article in any way other than as a consistent attempt to to try to improve the article, which is, to my mind, in a very poor state at the moment. And don't forget, we should be concentrating here on trying to improve the article, and compromising on our personal positions in an attempt to reach consensus where we can, and should always be assuming good faith wrt other editors and avoiding making personal attacks. -- DeFacto (talk). 07:08, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello DeFacto -
  • "I'm looking for the section to be written in a logical and reliably sourced way that makes it clear what we're saying here." Perhaps you could suggest some modifications to the text.
  • "At the moment, it appears as a random collection of quotes, with no prose explaining their relevance or justifying their inclusion." Based on earlier discussions you are aware of the pitfalls related to editorialising and of the risks of opinion creeping in .. for example, "We should simply present the cold bare (and fully supported) facts, in an as neutral way as possible, and let the reader draw their own conclusions." But, as you have expressed reservations with the style of the text perhaps you could offer suggestions about its modification.
  • "making personal attacks" No personal attacks have been made. However, if you refer to my earlier 'peevish' comment you will note that I wrote it was a reaction that appears peevish: this is speculation of a possible explanation and is not an insult. The speculation was made because of your currently unfathomable position, which is at odds with all others (which includes the bereaved family, major newspapers and a number of senior politicians .. and, of negligible consequence in the grand scheme, other contributors here) and not an attack on you. It was written to stimulate further discussions on the subject, and to an extent was productive as it has led to this exchange although you still have not explained why you consider this part of the article is troubling you. Also, the speculation was not written, or indeed meant, as a personal attack; should you consider it as such then I am unable to apologies as offence is taken not given. I stress no attack or insult was intended.
  • "trying to improve the article, and compromising on our personal positions in an attempt to reach consensus where we can" I trust you will bear this in behind before any further deletion of sizeable parts of the article without previous discussion & agreement.--SnowyMalone (talk) 10:07, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

Why is The Independent article here, which reports Dunn's mother, not seen as "mainstream media" exactly? Martinevans123 (talk) 22:43, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

Or how about HuffPost? Martinevans123 (talk) 22:55, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
Martin, I don't understand these questions, please clarify. -- DeFacto (talk). 07:12, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
DeF, your edit summary here said "none of this is reported in the mainstream media". But Seiger's statement semes to be reported in both of those outlets? And by others? Martinevans123 (talk) 08:47, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
I got 11 hits on that long quote, and none were from The Idependent or any other mainstream media. -- DeFacto (talk). 12:43, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Hello DeFacto - a question earlier today in the House of Commons demonstrates its notability: 'Mr Corbyn asked the Prime Minister if the reason the US is refusing to extradite Anne Sacoolas, who allegedly killed Harry Dunn, is because she is a former CIA agent, as has been reported.'[1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by SnowyMalone (talkcontribs) 23:45, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

Notable in what sense and for what purpose, and in what way is that relevant to this article? -- DeFacto (talk). 07:14, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello DeFacft - notability has been noted and explained by a number of persons. Some of this was mentioned in a question raised yesterday in The House Of Commons, which to quote: '.. if the reason the US is refusing to extradite Anne Sacoolas, who allegedly killed Harry Dunn, is because she is a former CIA agent ..' This question references the two individuals at the centre of this article, as well as recent, widely reported information about her occupation and how this may be influencing a high-profile legal case and a diplomatic disagreement which has involved both the Prime Minister of the UK and the President of the US.--SnowyMalone (talk) 10:07, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

Yes it relevant.Slatersteven (talk) 10:16, 15 February 2020 (UTC)


Wording refinement for the end of the 'Later developments" 'section[edit]

As we can't agree on the content of the last bit of the 'Later developments' section, I've moved both currently suggested versions here so that we can try and refine it and get an agreement - rather than risk edit-warring over it.

Option A:

The revelation renewed calls by MPs, including two Cabinet ministers, that Sacoolas should return to the UK to allow a trial: the former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that it was "totally and utterly unacceptable" that Sacoolas had not returned to the UK[1][2] and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick said: "She needs to return to the UK, she should face justice."[3][4] The issue was raised in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom on 12 February when Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, asked the Prime Minister if Sacoolas was being ‘shielded from justice’ as she is a former CIA officer.[5][6][7]

Option B:

Sky News reported that the former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt had found it unacceptable that Sacoolas had not returned to the UK,[8] and Yahoo! News described how the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick hoped she would return to the UK and face justice.[9] The issue was also raised in the House of Commons on 12 February when Jeremy Corbyn used Prime Minister's Questions to ask the Prime Minister if Sacoolas was being shielded from justice as a former CIA officer.[10]


I dislike option A because I think it relies too much on verbatim quotes, uses non-neutral/editorialising language with is discouraged by WT:WTA, and simply does not tell the reader why it's there. For that reason I propose version B. Please offer suggestions, compromises, alternatives, observations, or whatever. -- DeFacto (talk). 23:09, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

I think two editors agreed it was just fine as it was. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:23, 13 February 2020 (UTC) p.s. adding Prime Minister's Questions looks a good idea.
Let's hope they come to the disussion then, and give a convincing policy-based rationale to try and win sipport for that. -- DeFacto (talk). 23:29, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
"lol" Yes, let's hope. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:32, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
Well for a start [[10]] so its not just sky news saying Hunt said it.Slatersteven (talk) 10:18, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
Option A or something like the existing edit for me. We cannot avoid either indirectly or directly citing the two opposing views on this topic, but avoiding quotes seems to me to muddy the origins of those views. At least a direct quote is clear and the meaning cannot be confused or debated. WP:BALANCE requires we try to give more weight to the opposing views though, I feel, and the opposition is widespread enough to justify quoting. Llemiles (talk) 12:18, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
I prefer option A for those reasons. This (the Hunt stuff) was an interview, not Sky commenting on what he said.Slatersteven (talk) 13:22, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
Prefer Option A as per Llemiles. Option B seems dull and lifeless.Martinevans123 (talk) 17:50, 15 February 2020 (UTC)