The Taconic State Parkway crash was a traffic collision that occurred shortly after p. Schuler, her daughter and three nieces, and the three passengers in the oncoming SUV were killed. The ensuing investigation into the crash's cause received nationwide attention. Toxicology tests conducted by the medical examiner revealed that Schuler was heavily intoxicated with both alcohol and marijuana at the time of the crash. Schuler's husband, Daniel, has consistently denied that she used drugs or alcohol "excessively", and has made multiple national media appearances to defend his late wife and call for further investigation into other possible medical causes for her erratic driving.
An independent investigator hired by the Schuler family obtained DNA testing and toxicology testing of Schuler's samples, and also confirmed the results of the original testing.
At approximately a. Riding with Schuler were her 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter, and her brother's three daughters ages 8, 7, and 5. Her husband, Daniel Schuler, left the campground at the same time in a separate vehicle since he had a pickup truck and took the dog with him. While at the gas station, on surveillance video with no sound, it was reported that she attempted to buy over-the-counter pain-relief medication, possibly for a painful tooth, but the gas station did not sell any.
Schuler left Liberty just after 11 a. She reportedly told him that they were being delayed by traffic.
Wrong-way driver's in-law speaks out
At about 1 p. During this call, one of Schuler's nieces reportedly told her father that Schuler was having trouble seeing and speaking clearly. Schuler herself then talked to Hance and said that she was disoriented and could not see clearly. Police believe that the car was stopped in a pull-off area beyond the Tappan Zee Bridge tollbooths for at least part of this call.
Hance reportedly told Schuler to stay off the road while he came to meet them; follow-up calls from Hance to Schuler were not answered. For some reason, she left her cell phone on the highway; it was found by another motorist by the side of the road near the tollbooth. Investigators have not determined what route Schuler took from the bridge to the Taconic State Parkway ramps near Briarcliff Manor.
At p. The end of the exit ramp, at the intersection with Pleasantville Road, is marked with two signs that read " Do Not Enter " and two signs that read " One Way ". The van traveled south for 1. Schuler, her daughter, and two of her nieces were dead at the scene of the crash the children did not appear to have been in car seats, or even to have had seatbelts fastenedalong with the three men in the TrailBlazer: year-old Michael Bastardi, his year-old son Guy, and their friend, year-old Dan Longo.
The two occupants of the Tracker suffered only minor injuries. Schuler's severely injured third niece and Schuler's 5-year-old son Bryan were taken to area hospitals, where the niece died later that day.
He remained hospitalized before returning home in early October. Two men who witnessed the accident and smoke rising out of the van ran to assist the occupants. After removing Schuler from the van, the two men saw a large, broken Absolut Vodka bottle by the driver's side. The men tried to pull the girls out of the van, and noted that they had no pulse. Because the children possibly were not seat belted in and thrown together, the men did not even notice Bryan stuck under another child.
Bryan was the only survivor of the accident. The investigation of the collision drew nationwide attention, as Schuler's husband strongly disagreed with the conclusion that she was heavily intoxicated at the time of the crash. In an August 8 press conference, Daniel Schuler and his attorney Dominic Barbara initially denied that Diane did drugs or was drinking that weekend at the lake since several children were with them.
Schuler then changed the story and consistently denied that his wife ever "drank to excess" or could have been drunk while driving that day. He further stated that Diane did all the packing for the camping trip, so she must have moved the bottle into the van.
Daniel eventually admitted that he and his wife had been drinking during the camping trip, but denied that Diane had anything to drink on the day preceding the crash.Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. Diane Schuler drove drunk and high on the Taconic on a Sunday afternoon, July 26, Are Westchester highways more prone to wrong-way crashes?
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If you see comments in violation of our community guidelinesplease report them. At the time, the crash was the deadliest on a Westchester roadway in 75 years. Ten years later, nothing has happened to change that distinction.
Witnesses on the Taconic said she was driving "pin straight" at 70 mph in the fast lane, not swerving. Schuler was not alone in that van, driving back to Long Island. With her were her children: Bryan, 5, and Erin, 2. Frantic drivers flooded dispatchers with reports of a red minivan heading the wrong way down the parkway. They had tried to stop her, they told investigators.A devastating multi-car crash from gets some clarity with a fresh look at psychological profiling and behavioral analysis.
Those close to Diane claim she was the perfect image of a doting mother and aunt, a hardworking executive bringing in a 6-figure salary, and practically a teetotaler. So, why, then, was her blood alcohol content 0. And, why did she have high levels of THC in her system? What happened? The campground keepers see the family leave and report nothing suspicious. The children are seen playing and eating.
CCTV footage captures Diane at the station; she reportedly asks a clerk for gel-cap pain relievers such as Tylenol gel-caps. The store does not carry this product. The store clerk reports Diane appears normal but footage of the minivan leaving the gas station indicate some possible hastiness or aggression. Warren speaks briefly with Diane, reporting nothing unusual about the call.
They report she is seen straddling lanes, honking her horn, and aggressively tailgating other cars. One witness reports that the minivan began tailgating him and attempted, unsuccessfully, to pass him on the shoulder, before honking the horn repeatedly for 1 mile.
The van followed him but headed toward the truck parking areas, before driving over a grassy area and into the car parking area. The witness reported that the female driver of the minivan appeared ill. She reports that Aunt Diane is incoherent, having difficulty seeing, confused, and that they are lost. The call drops. At this same time, the minivan passes through the Tappan Zee toll plaza.
Nearly a dozen other calls to her phone go to voice mail over the next 20 minutes. She drives southbound against traffic for nearly two miles, causing more than a dozen vehicles to swerve out of her way. Multiple witnesses call Some report honking their horns at Diane, attempting to get her attention.
They state she was staring straight ahead and driving with intent, the car accelerating to at least 85mph. The 3 men, Diane, and all of the children except Brian died on scene.
Brian was severely injured as were two other people in a third car involved in the crash. This was awesome insight into Diane Schuler and what happened that day. Question-there is no audio of her asking for pain relievers at the gas station.
Where did this come from? I read it was said by her her husband and sister-in-law, and then became part of the record. If anyone knows please pass it along. Like Like. Thank you! And, good point.
Tylenol is known to be a pretty surefire way to commit suicide and is more readily available than some other means gun, poison, etc. This is an awesome site …so glad I found it. Watched every tv show where Jay Schuler and Danny Schuler appeared. Wonder how Danny Schuler is doing today? That makes sense.
I too had wondered about the gel cap pain reliever that she sought at the Sunoco station. He parked his car on the side of the highway, and walked out in oncoming traffic.Hello and thank you for being a DL contributor. We are changing the login scheme for contributors for simpler login and to better support using multiple devices.
Mother of 3 Girls Killed in Taconic Crash Sues Daniel Schuler
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I know everyone is suing everyone, the Hances had a baby and there were two books written by family members of those killed. Have there been any recent updates with the Schuler family? What is Daniel Schuler up to these days and his closet-smoker sister in law? Have the Hances had to give any testimony through the various lawsuits about what happened on that day?
Also, did any of her coworkers come forward to say what she was like to work with and if she showed any signs of problem drinking calling out often, making up excuses to stay home, etc? It was strange that they featured her four high school friends and one person who seemed just a neighbor on the documentary but no real intimates or who knew her in her daily life. Not one person who has a cousin who is married to someone who used to work with diane schuler?
Or someone who left the dreadfully tacky long island years ago but still knows the goings-on at home? No one who works with, used to work with, knows, used to know, went to school with or otherwise could dish some gossip on daniel schuler?
Those accents. They could be the smartest people in the world but that accent makes them sound like dumbasses. Actually I do think Diane's husband was simple minded.
There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane - any recent updates?
Since this aired I have read comments saying that it could have been that Diane blacked out after taking Ambien. It would be very interesting to know the content of the phone conversation Aunt Diane had with her brother before the accident. Five years after a violent wrong-way collision on the Taconic State Parkway killed eight people — including four young children — a flurry of civil lawsuits stemming from the crash have been dropped or quietly settled, with the terms sealed by a state judge.
But while the lawsuits are done, relatives of some of those killed said the unanswered questions are not. We are still being dodged by all the questions that we wanted answered. Bastardi and several attorneys associated with the court cases declined to discuss the cases Wednesday. But court records show that civil cases, including one filed by the Bastardi family in Decemberhad been settled by April. The July 26,crash was one of Westchester County's most horrific.
Investigators said Diane Schuler drove against traffic and struck Bastardi's car.One of the saddest news stories of the summer just got sadder — the husband of Diane Schuler, whose wrong-way drunk-driving crash killed her and seven others, tells New York Magazine he still believes his wife was essentially perfect. New York 's Steve Fishman tells a depressing tale of denial and rage.
On one side is the bereaved Schuler, struggling to go on after the death of his wife and daughter, and on the other is the Bastardi family, two of whose members were killed when Diane Schuler's Winstar struck their TrailBlazer. Mike Bastardi lost his father, Michael Sr. He says, "They make like it was not even their fault. I think they knew she was drunk and stoned. She says, "Not even a second have I felt sorry for Danny. This becomes a man you can't hate enough.
Part of the reason the Bastardis are so angry with Schuler is that he won't own up to his wife's guilt. After the crash, he said at a press conference, "She did not drink. She is not an alcoholic. My heart is rested every night. Something medically had to have happened. Not only was his wife not an addict, he says, she was nearly flawless.
Though he spoke to the investigator about "ups and downs" in his marriage," he told Fishman, "There were never any downs. Up for twelve years. I do; she doesn't. Diane Schuler's friends also portray her as keeping her feelings — especially negative ones — to herself.
One says, "I've never seen her mad or angry," another, "she infrequently talked about personal feelings. When Fishman asked Danny "how well he really knew" his wife, Danny answered, "She'd talk to me if things came up. To hear Fishman tell it, the Schulers' story seemed like a long, drawn-out, and bloody example of the consequences of secrets in a marriage.
Did Diane Schuler feel pressured to be the perfect mom — Danny mentions her expertise with birthday cards and holiday decorations — and thus keep her substance problems to herself? Did she feel she couldn't confide in her husband because their work schedules meant they were rarely home at the same time?
Did her parents' divorce make her feel she couldn't rock the boat in her own marriage?
Why didn't her friends know more about her troubles? Probably these questions will never be answered, but if there's a tragic flaw in the whole Schuler saga, it's isolation. Despite her supposedly close-knit family, Diane Schuler apparently kept herself hidden from everyone.Brian Sichol, who represents the family of father-and-son victims Michael and Guy Bastardi, made the assertion as he prepared a lawsuit against the estate of Diane Schuler, the Long Island woman who caused the crash.
The lawsuit, expected within weeks, will be the first court action in the mystifying, horrific crash that occurred when an apparently intoxicated Schuler drove a minivan packed with kids against high-speed highway traffic for 1.
The resulting collision north of New York City killed Schuler, her 2-year-old daughter, three young nieces, the Bastardis and their friend Daniel Longo, Then you have suffering, horror and the anticipation of death.
Michael Bastardi Jr. David Smith, a lawyer for Daniel Schuler, said he had seen no evidence to support that the Bastardis survived. The mystery of how Schuler could race against highway traffic with a cargo of frightened kids baffled the nation. Schuler acknowledged that his wife drank at least socially and her sister-in-law told police she smoked marijuana regularly.
A broken 1. They suggested a blood clot, a stroke and her use of Anbesol. Barbara said the sugar in her blood could have been boiled into alcohol in the car wreck. The Schuler team also seized on witness statements that indicated Schuler was fine when she and her husband left an upstate campground that morning in separate vehicles.
Honestly, I cannot wait to get them in civil court. That was three or four hours before the crash. She had more than ample time to consume the alcohol that we know she did and to smoke the marijuana that we know she did.
We know she was driving the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway for two miles that afternoon and we know she had a point-one-nine. Also known — from calls and witness statements taken by police — that other drivers saw a woman driving aggressively and ignoring honked warnings that she was going the wrong way. Many told of having to steer out of her way as she barreled south in the northbound passing lane.
Meanwhile, 5-year-old Bryan Schuler, the lone survivor from the minivan, has recovered enough from his head injury and broken bones to return to school, Ruskin said. Read Next. NY grocer plans to close 53 stores, lay off 4, This story has been shared 53, times. This story has been shared 48, times. This story has been shared 34, times. Would you like to receive desktop browser notifications about breaking news and other major stories?Their marriage was like one in a storybook.
Danny manned the barbecue, and Diane bustled around, making sure everyone had what they needed, all on the lawn that Danny cut and edged most weekends, while his 5-year-old boy maneuvered a toy lawnmower behind him and his 2-year-old girl shrieked with delight under a sprinkler. Come holiday time, Diane insisted that they do up the whole house.
And then they lost it. The July 26 accident was the most horrific in memory—the worst in Westchester County in 75 years. For 1. Passing drivers said she stared straight ahead, her expression serene and oblivious, her hands at ten and two on the steering wheel. Eight people died, including Diane, their daughter, their three nieces, and all three people in the oncoming SUV. Police found a smashed 1.
For weeks after the accident, Danny slept in the hospital next to his 5-year-old, Bryan, the sole survivor, who had broken both arms and a leg. Danny kept the TV off.
Not for the grief. Nor for the guilt. Danny lists her qualities. Another home, another universe. Under different circumstances, Mike might have even found something likable in Danny. Neither family had taken the college route. The Bastardis grew up in auto parts. The bullshit was one reason Mike Sr.Jasta - Last Breath (Featuring Danny Schuler of Biohazard)
For Mike, as for Danny, family is the hub of life. Every summer for 42 years, the extended Bastardi family has traveled to Wildwood Crest on the Jersey shore, sometimes in an entourage of 30 people. Mike had to show up or risk the doghouse. On July 26, Mike Jr.
When Mike got home, the phone rang. Which one? Mike lost his breath. He stumbled into the backyard and collapsed. This has destroyed my family. The gathering is like a wake. No one considers Diane a murderer here. I would put my life on that. Danny is not the only one who has Diane on a pedestal. With groceries, she knew the price before reaching the cashier.