Posted On: August 6, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Wrongful Death?: Wrong-Way Driver Who Killed 8 People Was Drunk and High, Say Police, but Her Family Disputes Allegations

Police say that the 36-year-old mother who drove the wrong-way on a New York road killing 8 people, herself, her 2-year-old daughter, her three young nieces, as well as three people in one of the vehicles she struck, had a blood-alcohol level that was over twice the legal limit at the time of the deadly multi-vehicle car crash.

They claim that Diane Schuler had more than 10 alcohol drinks in her system as well as a high level of the primary ingredient found in marijuana. They believe she’d been smoking the drug anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour before the deadly multi-vehicle crash. Her BAC was reportedly 0.19%--over double the 0.08% drinking limit and there was alcohol that was still undigested in her body. A broken bottle of Absolute vodka was in the minivan that she’d been driving.

Schuler stunned the nation on July 26 when her minivan drove for almost two miles the wrong-way up the Taconic State Parkway. She crashed into two vehicles, including an SUV carrying the three men who were killed in the deadly wrong-way driving accident. The three men are Guy Bastardi, his year- father Michael Bastardi, and their friend Michael Longo. Their families are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit against whoever allowed Schuler to drive drunk.

Schuler’s son Bryan, 5, survived the crash with injuries.

Schuler’s husband, Daniel Schuler, however, says the toxicology reports are wrong. He says he’s never seen his wife drink during all of the years that they’ve known each other. His attorney held a news conference today claiming that Schuler was diabetic. The family thinks she suffered a stroke.

Police have ruled the car accident a homicide because Schuler caused the accident while driving the wrong way up the road.

Lawyer: N.Y. mom in wrong-way crash was diabetic, August 6, 2009

Wrong-way driver in N.Y. crash was drunk, LA Times, August 4, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

If you were injured in a Chicago car crash because of a wrong-way driver, a drunk driver, a distracted driver, or any other kind of negligent driver, you should speak with a Chicago personal injury law firm as soon as possible.

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