Two years ago, Diane Schuler made New York headlines for driving the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway with her two children and her three nieces. She drove into a van, and in total she killed seven people: the three men in the van, herself and her daughter, and her three nieces. Her son was the only survivor. Investigation into the crash revealed that she was drunk and high on drugs. Her husband denied that she drank or took drugs numerous times. Toxicology reports do not lie.
Recent developments in the case have me peeved. Daniel Schuler, her husband is now suing the state of New York for the poorly designed highway and he is also suing his brother-in law, Warren Hance, brother of Diane Schuler, who lost his three daughters, ages 8, 7 and 5 in the crash, because he was the owner of the car. Daniel is trying to blame everyone but his wife for what happened that tragic day. Maybe he is trying to exonerate himself from blame as he pleads ignorance to the fact that his wife obviously had a substance abuse problem and he allowed her to not only drive their children around that morning, but his three nieces too. At the time of the accident, Diane was going 85 miles per hour.
On a positive note, Jackie Hance, who suffered the devastating loss of all three of her children in the crash, is now pregnant and due to give birth this fall. She had had her tubes tied after giving birth to her last baby. However, after coming back from a serious depression, she felt her daughters would want her to have another baby. I saw an interview with her not long ago. She said something striking. When you are a parent, you don’t just stop being a parent. And we never do, do we? No matter how old our children get, they will always be our babies. And the loss of a child, let alone three, to almost too great to bear and recover from. But, Jackie has come back, with the help of her friends. She is rebuilding her life and having another baby. She said she and her husband still celebrate their girls birthdays…who can imagine that and not cry, not me.
Daniel Schuler must have been aware of his wife’s drug and alcohol problem. She was drinking large quantities of vodka and smoking marijuana just before the crash, while driving. This isn’t a problem that happened overnight and he had to have seen the signs. With the amount she ingested that morning she could barely see. A 1.75 liter of vodka was found in the car at the crash site. She had reportedly drank 10 ounces while driving the van. Toxicology tests showed she smoked marijuana within an hour of the crash. Probably doing drugs and alcohol while she was driving, 6 ounces of alcohol were still not digested in her stomach and her blood alcohol was twice the legal limit. Marijuana was used up to 15 minutes to an hour before the crash. It’s absolutely sickening. It’s incomprehensible. Now this man wants to sue his brother in law, who lost three of his own children, because Diane was driving his car? Who is going to sue Daniel for allowing her to get behind the wheel of any car?