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Parents of Briton killed in crash reject Trump's offer to meet driver

LONDON : US President Donald Trump's national security adviser "heaped pain and grief" on the parents of a British teen killed in a car crash by trying to hold a meeting between them and the US diplomat's wife who was involved, the parents' lawyer said.

Ms Charlotte Charles and Mr Tim Dunn were invited to a surprise meeting with Mr Trump at the White House on Tuesday, where they were further shocked to learn that Mrs Anne Sacoolas, the US woman involved in the fatal crash, was in the building.

Mr Mark Stephens, the lawyer for Ms Charles and Mr Dunn, said national security adviser Robert O'Brien had the idea of overseeing a coming together of the families before they would hug in front of assembled media.

"(O'Brien has) heaped grief and pain on the family by making them go through this but not allowing them to get the closure they need by talking to Mrs Sacoolas before they can go onto the grieving stage," he told BBC radio yesterday.

Mr Harry Dunn, 19, died after a car driven by Mrs Sacoolas collided with his motorbike in England.

His parents want Mrs Sacoolas, who left Britain under a disputed claim of diplomatic immunity, to return to England to speak to the police. Through her lawyers, Mrs Sacoolas has said she is "devastated" and is willing to meet the victim's family.

The parents said Mr Trump had been responsive, but the encounter with Mrs Sacoolas had come as a bombshell.

Mr Dunn said: "He said he was sorry about Harry.

"Then he sprung the surprise that Mrs Sacoolas was in another room and whether we want to meet her there and then.

NOT PREPARED

"We said no because as we've been saying from the start we want to meet Mrs Sacoolas, but we want to do it in the UK so the police can interview her.

"We didn't want to be sort of railroaded, not into a circus as such, but a meeting we weren't prepared for."

While Mr Trump and Mr O'Brien had ruled out Mrs Sacoolas returning to Britain, Ms Charles said Mr Trump had promised to try to look at the issue from another angle.

Mr Stephens said: "We have said for a long time the family needs to meet, they need to meet in private, away from the media and not curated by politicians, spies or indeed, lawyers.

"Most sensible folk and not a nincompoop in a hurry would understand that." - REUTERS

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