The husband of the woman who, while allegedly drunk and high, drove a minivan on the wrong side of the Taconic State Parkway, killing herself, four relatives, and three men in an SUV, says that his wife was only a social drinker. Danny Schuler told the press, "I never saw her drunk since the day I met her. She was not an alcoholic. Something medically must have happened. She was a perfect wife, an outstanding mother, a hard worker, a reliable person. I would marry her again tomorrow."
He also retained lawyer Dominic Barbara to represent him as allegations and questions about his wife Diane's actions swirl. Newsday reports that Babara said Diane Schuler "rarely drank. [She] wasn’t an alcoholic but was diabetic and may have suffered a stroke before the July 26 crash north of New York City. He says she also had a mouth abscess for several weeks and a bump on her leg." Barbara also said, "I think she had a stroke of some sort. From the stroke came all other issues that happened."
The 36-year-old mother of two had been driving her children and her brother's three daughters from a campsite in Sullivan County back to Long Island. Along the route, other drivers say they saw a minivan (matching the description of Schuler's minivan) driving erratically. And then, somehow, Schuler got onto the wrong side of the Taconic, driving for 1.7 miles in spite of other driver's honking their horns, until she crashed into a SUV carrying a father, son, and family friend. Schuler, her two-year-old daughter, and three young nieces were killed, as well as the SUV's three passengers; her five-year-old son was the only survivor.
The Daily News reports that Danny Schuler, who doesn't believe the toxicology report stating his wife had a blood alcohol level of 0.19 (2x the legal limit) and pot in her system), wants his wife's body exhumed and an independent autopsy. However, Westchester County Medical Examiner Dr. Millard Hyland told Newsday, "I stand behind those results. I think we did everything we should have done examining those tissues."
While Danny Schuler and Schuler's brother, Warren Hance, (who is grieving over the loss of his three daughter) claim Schuler did not have a drinking problem (that they know of), the Post spoke to a friend who said Diane Schuler "seemed under pressure, like work and family were getting to her. Her marriage seemed a bit rocky, and I think she felt trapped by it. For the last couple of months, she didn't appear to be a happy woman." The friend added, "I wouldn't say she was an alcoholic, but she liked her drinks... She liked her vodka." (The shattered remains of an Absolut Vodka bottle were found in the minivan.)