The father of an American driver who fled the UK after a crash left a British nurse unable to walk is attempting to raise funds for his son’s legal costs.
Issac Calderon, 22, has been charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving after a collision on the A4103 near Shucknall in Herefordshire on 31 July left Elizabeth Donowho with two broken ankles, a fractured sternum and a broken bone in her hand.
The 56-year-old was unable to walk for six weeks following the collision.
A warrant was issued for Calderon’s arrest after he failed to turn up to a hearing at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on 1 December.
He is now back living with his parents in his hometown of Humble, in Texas, where Sky News tracked him down earlier this month.
Following the crash, Ms Donowho told Sky News that UK police told her Calderon was connected to the US intelligence services, and that he had been visiting a British special forces base in Hereford.
In court, Calderon’s occupation was given as “American soldier”, according to the Hereford Times.
The case has been likened to that of Anne Sacoolas, the US spy who left the UK after killing teenager Harry Dunn in a crash in Northamptonshire in 2019.
Isaac’s father, Manuel Calderon, set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his son’s legal representation.
The page was live on Thursday morning but was later removed by the platform.
GoFundMe told Sky News this was because it violated their terms of service as it was “in defence of a violent crime”.
A written message on the page said Issac had been working as a contractor in the UK “due to his security clearance with the Texas National Guard”.
It said he returned home with a ticket bought by the company.
His father said the family had been “contacted by the FBI” and they were “talking about extraditing him”.
He also said his son had sustained injuries in the crash, and “still has problems from his concussion and his fractured humorous”.
However, it said he would be unable to access medical treatment until January due to his insurance.
The post concluded: “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.”
The family raised around a third of their $15,000 (£12,000) target before the page was taken down.
Legal advisor: A direct appeal to ‘do the right thing’
Radd Seiger, the legal advisor and spokesperson for Ms Donowho told Sky News she was “highly distressed” when she saw the GoFundMe page late on Wednesday night, and her “overriding emotion was one of hurt”.
Mr Seiger said Ms Donowho was going through a “tough time” and wasn’t sure she would ever be able to return to her work as a mental health nurse.
“When this crash happened, she suffered serious lower limb and upper limb injuries and a serious chest injury. It totally turned her life upside down and she can barely walk at the moment.
While Mr Seiger said it was “comforting” for Ms Donowho to know the FBI had been in contact with the family, he also had a direct message for Issac.
“He absolutely must return to the United Kingdom to face these charges without any further delay. And so, our appeal to him directly today is to get on the first available flight and come back and do the right thing.