The wife of a U.S. diplomat involved in a road accident that killed a British teen last year had diplomatic immunity at the time of the crash, a U.K. court ruled Tuesday, rejecting a legal challenge launched by the teen’s family.
Anne Sacoolas, 43, was driving on the wrong side of the road when her car collided with 19-year-old Harry Dunn outside a military base in central England in August 2019.
Sacoolas left for the U.S. several weeks after the crash. Officials said she was entitled to diplomatic immunity because her husband worked at the airbase.
Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, challenged British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and his office in court over its determination that Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity. They also alleged that the U.K government wrongly impeded a police investigation.
Their challenge was rejected Tuesday after two judges ruled that the American had diplomatic immunity “on arrival in the U.K.” under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and that she “enjoyed immunity from U.K. criminal jurisdiction at the time of Harry’s death.”
Following the ruling, the attorney’s office representing Sacoolas told Fox News in an emailed statement that they are still open to working with authorities.
“We have been and remain willing to discuss a resolution with the U.K. authorities,” the statement said. “Anne would like nothing more than to find a path forward and to provide the family some measure of peace.”
Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger said in a statement that they would appeal the ruling.
“Dominic Raab may have won this round but the legal battle is only just beginning,” Seiger said.
The teen’s mother said she was determined to continue finding justice for her son.
“I promised my boy I would get him justice and that is just what we are going to do,” she said after the ruling. “No one is going to stand in our way.”
Raab said he understands that while the ruling proved his office acted lawfully, it would not provide any solace to the family, whom he stands behind.
“We’re clear that Anne Sacoolas needs to face justice in the U.K, and we will support the family with their legal claim in the U.S.,” Raab said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.