The two Westchester sisters who lost both a father and a brother in the deadly Taconic crash were interviewed for the first time this morning on The Today Show. The daughters of Michael Bastardi, sisters of Guy, spoke about learning of the tragic accident and their feelings on the revelations that Diane Schuler was drunk and high. Rosemary Guzzo told Matt Lauer, "This didn't have to happen. She had a choice and she made a choice."
The Bastardi sisters said they also "don't believe everything we hear from the Schuler family," while addressing Daniel Schuler's vehement defense that his wife was not a drinker and that the accident must be related to a medical condition. Guzzo said, "He's in denial. Somehow, somewhere along the line you have to know that somebody can drink like that."
Earlier in the day, Irving Anolik, the lawyer for the Bastardi family, had expressed even greater suspicion about how much Mr. Schuler knew. Anolik told reporters, "I think the husband and the deceased wife were unquestionably quite familiar with imbibing alcohol. I can't say the husband used marijuana, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did." Despite the announcement over the weekend by prosecutors that no criminal charges would be brought against Mr. Schuler, Anolik said he supported Suffolk Child Protective Services starting a probe into how much the father knew about his wife's substance abuse.
When asked on Today whether a civil suit would be forthcoming, the lawyer for the victims' family said, "Right it's premature because the accident—I shouldn't say the accident, the killing took place fair recently...We don't want to be irresponsible in rushing to file an action, but you can rest assured we'll do everything necessary to protect the rights of my clients."
While heading towards Long Island from a campsite in Sullivan County, Diane Schuler drove on the wrong side of the Taconic State Parkway on July 26. She crashed into an SUV driven by Guy Bastardi, which was carrying his father Michael and family friend Daniel Longo; the three men were killed, as were Schuler and four of her five minivan passengers—her daughter and three nieces (her son survived). Last week, a few days after a toxicology report revealed she had a blood alcohol level of 0.19 plus 6 grams of alcohol still to be digested, Schuler's sister-in-law, a lawyer representing her husband, and a private investigator appeared on the Today Show, defending her and suggesting a medical event occurred.