Wednesday, August 5, 2009
A terrible event took place on July 26 along a Westchester Highway in New York State. Tests show that the driver was drunk in parkway crash that killed eight; not only drunk but also high on marijuana. There are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding why Diane Schuler would drive intoxicated with her: son Bryan 5, daughter Erin 2, and her three nieces, Emma Hance, 8; Alyson Hance, 7; and Kate Hance, 5. Diane Schuler had a blood alcohol level of .19 and had un-metabolized vodka still in her stomach when she drove the wrong way head on into a Chevy Trailblazer driven by Guy Bastardi along with his father Michael, and family friend Daniel Longo who were all killed in the tragic crash. Only one person, Diane Shuler's son Bryan, made it out of the wreck with his life and is still hospitalized.
Diane Schuler did not survive to account for her actions on that terrible day, who pays for this crime and who will explain how Schuler was allowed to drive off into the sunset wasted with so many children? A New York Times Article stated, "On July 26, Ms. Schuler loaded her two children, Erin, 2, and Bryan, 5, and her three nieces into the minivan to drive them home from a camping trip in the Catskills. Her husband, Daniel, also left the campground at the same time, with a dog, in his pickup truck, said Ann Scott, the owner of the Hunter Lake Campground, where the Schulers had spent most of their summer weekends for the past three years". Scott said on Tuesday that she never saw either of them with a drink that morning and that everything seemed normal.
“When I stopped to say hello to her, the kids were yelling in the car, saying, ‘We had a good time, we’re coming back,’ ” Ms. Scott said. “The husband just waved like he usually did with a smile on his face. She was fine. I said, ‘Have a safe trip home.’ She said, ‘See you soon.’ And that was it. And off she went. It was as normal as apple pie.” I guess things were not normal when a mother is driving down a highway high on marijuana and a bottle of Absolut Vodka between her legs with a van full of children. It does not make sense to me that no one noticed that something wasn't right when Schuler drove off that morning. Neither her husband nor Ann Scott can account for what took place to make Diane Schuler such a big risk, a risk that many would have to pay for with their lives.
As I said above, there are many unanswered questions, many questions that may never be resolved; however, this event can serve as a "teaching moment" for families. If you see behavior that is out of the ordinary, then don't be afraid to start a dialogue with your family member. It could save their life and others.