US man 'linked to secret service' leaves UK after nurse injured in Herefordshire crash

ITV News Central's Hannah Kings reports...

A nurse who suffered injuries in a car crash has revealed she was "horrified" after an American citizen "associated with the secret service" and charged over the incident left the UK before the trial.

Issac Calderon was due to appear at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on 1 December charged with causing Elizabeth Donowho serious injury by dangerous driving in a collision on the A4103 near Shucknall in July.

However, despite assurances from his employer that he would not leave the country, the 22-year-old flew to Houston, Texas, on a commercial flight on 25 November.

West Mercia Police told Ms Donowho that the suspect had been carrying out work “associated with the secret service” and working on matters “that might come under the Official Secrets Act” before the crash which left her unable to walk for six weeks.

Ms Donowho says seeing Isaac Calderon face up to his charges in court might help with the psychological impact of what happened. Credit: ITV News

The 56-year-old nurse, of Malvern, Worcestershire, broke both of her ankles, as well as suffering a fractured sternum and a broken bone in her hand.

She was told by the police that Calderon had been driving dangerously from Cambridge to visit someone at the SAS base near Hereford.

I was just horrified

Ms Donowho said: "I can't say I was looking forward to December the first but I thought at least I can move on now, everything had been building up to this court case.

"There was every expectation he would appear in court, so when he didn't I was just horrified.

"I'd try to give him the benefit of the doubt, but when I was told he was not insured I thought...well that's not an accident."

Police also told Ms Donowho that the "extradition process" has now begun to return Calderon to the UK to face trial.

He has been described as a “private citizen” by the US Embassy and police said he had been in the UK on a work visa.

Ms Donowho suffered severe injuries to her ankles in the crash. Credit: Elizabeth Donowho

It is understood police were not advised of any intention Calderon had of leaving the UK.

He had been interviewed on 15 August by officers - 15 days after the initial crash as he had required immediate hospital treatment.

Confirming Calderon’s departure, West Mercia Police said: “On Friday 1 December 2023 at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court a warrant was issued for the arrest of Issac Calderon, 22, who is wanted for failure to appear at court on a charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

“We are engaging with his solicitor to inform him of the warrant and the need for him to return to the UK.

“We have also prepared appropriate paperwork should we need to request extradition, to ensure that the case can be heard in court.”

A US Embassy spokeswoman said: “The US Embassy does not comment on law enforcement matters involving private US citizens.

“The US and UK co-ordinate closely on law enforcement matters.”

On Wednesday (13 December), a US Embassy spokeswoman added: "There are not any issues of diplomatic immunity in the case of this private US citizen."

A government spokesperson said: "We are concerned at reports that Issac Calderon has failed to appear in court to answer charges.

"The Crown Prosecution Service are considering next steps."

The case follows that of Anne Sacoolas, who was able to leave the UK when diplomatic immunity was asserted on behalf of the US government after she killed teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn in August 2019 while driving on the wrong side of the road.

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