Ryan Crocker, career US diplomat, faces drunk driving charges


President Barack Obama and Ryan Crocker in the East Room of the White House on April 28, 2011.


Brendan Smialowski

Former US ambassador Ryan Crocker, a major diplomatic figure with a 30-year history of service in the Middle East, faces charges of driving while intoxicated and hitting another car in Washington State, reported The Associated Press.

Crocker, 63, was taken into custody in Washington State's eastern Spokane Valley on August 14, said BBC News

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The career diplomat, who previously served as the US ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, plead not-guilty in court on August 15, said AP. His next appearance in court is set for September 12, according to BBC

Crocker, who is originally from the Spokane area, allegedly hit a Ford Mustang convertible while intoxicated, AP cited local reports as saying. There were no reported injuries. 

Local police said Crocker turned into incoming traffic, crossed two lanes, hit a car, and kept on going. His blood alcohol was reportedly found over the limit in two testings, BBC cited local press as saying. 

Crocker survived an attack on American embassy in Beirut while part of the diplomatic corps stationed there in 1983, according to AP.  

He served as the US ambassador to Iraq from 2007-2009, said BBC, going on to lead diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan from April 2011 until health problems prompted his retirement in earlier this year.