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FBI contacts US driver about extradition after crash left nurse unable to walk

Nurse Elizabeth Donowho close to the site of the crash in Shucknall Hill, Herefordshire (Jacob King/PA)
Nurse Elizabeth Donowho close to the site of the crash in Shucknall Hill, Herefordshire (Jacob King/PA)

The father of a US citizen who left the UK after being charged with causing a mental health nurse serious injury by dangerous driving has pleaded for donations after the FBI contacted the family about “extraditing him”.

Issac Calderon, 22, is accused of being responsible for a car crash in July which left 56-year-old Elizabeth Donowho unable to walk for six weeks.

Calderon was due to appear at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on December 1 following the incident on the A4103 near Shucknall in Herefordshire.

He was labelled a potential “flight risk” by police, but was able to leave the UK on a commercial flight to Texas on November 25.

A fundraiser has since been set up on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe by the suspect’s father, Manuel Calderon, in which the family are asking for 15,000 US dollars (£11,760) to help with legal fees.

Calderon’s father said the suspect was able to return to the US because “the company that contracted him purchased him a ticket”.

Manuel Calderon said his son, whom he called “Isac”, had been offered a contract job in the UK “due to his security clearance with the Texas National Guard”.

West Mercia Police told Ms Donowho that Calderon had been carrying out work “associated with the secret service” and working on matters “that might come under the Official Secrets Act”.

Ms Donowho, from Malvern, Worcestershire, suffered multiple fractures in the crash – including both ankles, her sternum and her right hand.

Police told her “the extradition process” has begun and the PA news agency understands there are no issues surrounding diplomatic immunity.

Elizabeth Donowho accident
Elizabeth Donowho suffered multiple fractures in the crash in July (Elizabeth Donowho/PA)

Calderon’s father said his son still has problems with concussion and a fractured humerus following the collision.

In his plea for donations on the crowdfunding page, he said: “My son was released from the contract job shortly after and could no longer support himself in the UK.

“He reported this to the court but they were not concerned with his financial problems.

“My son was able to return home because the company that contracted him purchased him a ticket.”

He continued: “Missing his court date… the situation has spiraled (sic) from a car accident to my son being a government asset and being removed from the UK under diplomatic immunity, neither of which are true.

“Due to this, his case is being compared to other cases where Americans have been saved by diplomatic immunity which my son is not privy to.”

Ms Donowho said that, when explaining Calderon was a flight risk, police had cited the case of Anne Sacoolas – a US citizen who was able to leave the UK after diplomatic immunity was asserted on her behalf following a crash that killed teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn.

Mr Calderon continued: “My concern for my son was for his wellbeing since at that time he had no funds and still needed his injuries to be looked at.”

He said his son has been given medical insurance for his fractured humerus and concussion but it will not “kick in” until next month.

Addressing the reasons for setting up the crowdfunding page, Mr Calderon added: “We have been contacted by the FBI, they are talking about extraditing him.

“We do not have funds for hiring international legal counsel. We are a single-income family and not a family of means.

“We have spoken with an attorney. Although his price is reasonable, we do not have the funds or know of someone who would give or lend us that amount of money.”

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

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

Ms Donowho’s spokesman, Radd Seiger, told PA: “We have noted this GoFundMe page and have nothing to say other than to appeal to Mr Calderon junior, who simply should not have left the UK in the first place, to now do the right thing and return without any further delay.”

GoFundMe said the page has been taken down because it was against its terms of service.