The family of Diane Schuler continued their media push, in an attempt to dispute findings that she was drunk and high when she crashed a minivan carrying five children into an SUV carrying three adults on the Taconic State Parkway while driving from a Sullivan County campground back to Long Island two weeks ago. She killed herself, her daughter, three nieces, and the SUV's driver and passengers. Her husband Danny said, "She is not an alcoholic and my heart is rested every night when I go to bed." And today, his lawyer, sister-in-law and a private investigator appeared on the Today show: Lawyer Dominic Barbara said, "We all have to accept certain facts. When she left the campground, she was absolutely sober," while Danny Schuler's sister said, "We just can't explain what happened to Diane," and emphasized her sister-in-law did not drink heavily, only socially.
Newsday reports, "An investigator hired by the Schuler family said it had not been proven that the bottle had been in the Ford Windstar minivan being driven by Diane when she caused the crash. The investigator, Thomas Ruskin, told [Today Show] host Meredith Vieira that the family was 'known to carry the same bottle of vodka for the entire season' of camping. Ruskin said it was possible Daniel Schuler, who liked to have an occasional drink of vodka, placed the bottle into the minivan when he packed it with camping equipment the morning of the fatal crash."
Yesterday, the Post noted, "Barbara listed an odd array of ailments that he said could have thrown her off the deep end. They included a possible stroke, a prior case of gestational diabetes, a two-month-old abscessed tooth and a 'lump on her leg' that 'was moving.'" Danny Schuler said yesterday that she was not an alcoholic and suggested a medical issue played a part, "She was a perfect wife, an outstanding mother, a hard worker, a reliable person. I would marry her again tomorrow," but admitted he worked nights and his wife worked days (the Post had spoken to a coworker of his wife's, who claimed she drank) and that his wife smoked pot occasionally.
Barbara did not allow the state police to question Danny Schuler. The state police did say that the nieces' father, Schuler's brother Warren Hance, did speak with them and was cooperative. In the mean time, Suffolk County Child Protective Services is investigating Danny Schuler, based on his admission that his wife smoked pot.