Reports released to the lawyers of some of the victims in the July crash which killed eight people on the Taconic contradict the husband of wrong way driver Diane Schuler, who said that his wife didn’t have substance abuse issues.
According to Schuler’s sister in law she was a heavy drinker who self-medicated for stress daily with marijuana. Schuler had a blood alcohol level of over twice the legal limit at the time of the crash, and a level of THC suggesting that she’d smoked pot within an hour of the crash.
Daniel Schuler has already changed his story about his wife’s drinking once, when he admitted that he and his wife drank together over the weekend before the crash. Schuler also acknowledged that his wife was a recreational pot smoker.
Family members of Guy and Michael Bastardi and Daniel Longo, who were killed in the car Schuler hit, are asking for Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore to convene a grand jury in the case. The victims’ families have been dubious about Daniel Schuler’s honesty since shortly after the accident.
Coincidentally or not, the release of the report came on the same day that a company representing Schuler’s husband announced that they planned to request samples from Schuler’s autopsy to do retesting in an attempt to challenge the Medical Examiner’s conclusions about her drug and alcohol use on the day of the crash. The Schuler family says they were raising money for the retesting all this time.
Dominick Barbara, the family lawyer (you may remember him for his work representing Joey Buttafuoco and that fragrant individual who asked for the kidney he donated to his wife to be valued as a $1.5 million marital asset in their divorce) is holding out the possibility of an exhumation, which presumably will be announced if the case receives further unpleasant attention in the press.
A copy of the police report is here (pdf).
The Schuler case is rumored to have been the inspiration for last week’s episode of Law & Order.