Alcohol is a pass time drink enjoyed by many. It has a long and rich history with all of humankind.

The earliest civilizations dedicated many resources to cultivating alcohol for its then under-realized potentials.

It’s a relaxant, a pain aid, and keeps longer than any other liquid besides water. As such, it became imperative to have plenty of it to pass the winter months.

Nowadays, more people drink alcohol leisurely than ever before. Unfortunately, alcohol is not the boon most people claim it to be. And some people have problems with it.

Alcoholism, in its up-front debilitating state and the much more serious, difficult high-functioning state, leads people’s lives into spirals of destruction that sometimes take others with them.

One such person was Diane Schuler, a high-functioning alcoholic from New York, whose drinking habits cost her nearly a dozen lives in a drunk driving crash.


10 /10 Wrong-Way Crash

In July of 2009, Diane Schuler drove up from the Hunter Lake Campground with her two kids and her brother’s daughters in her brother’s red minivan to go back home in New York.

It was supposed to be a pleasant drive after a weekend out on the lake and with nature. Motorists began calling in strange behavior from her particular car.

Erratic driving and behavior that was typical of a drunken tirade. At 1:33, she got onto the wrong way of a highway on-ramp.

She went up the downside and got into the wrong way of traffic. At 1:35, the crash occurred. There were no survivors from her car or the car she struck.

9 /10 Do Not Enter

The accident happened on the Taconic State Parkway, a freeway from northern New York state down to the central area. It was a reasonably busy time for their drive back home.

Before going up the wrong ramp, Diane was stuck in traffic and was driving with aggression, trying to force her way into merging lanes and drove dangerously close to others while weaving in and out of her lane sporadically.

8 /10 Under The Influence

Diane had a blood alcohol content of .19, twice the legal limit of what constitutes drunk driving. There was also an empty vodka bottle found within the wreckage of her car.

Her husband tried to clarify, after the fact, that they always kept a bottle in their camper but that Diane was in charge of packing things up.

It was later confirmed that she had also been under the influence of marijuana, which she reportedly only used to treat her husband’s minor medical issues.


7 /10 No Survivors

Diane was pronounced dead at the scene. The car they hit, a Chevy Trailblazer, also suffered casualties. Three men were in that car, two seniors and one middle-aged.

When they were hit, their car careened into another, a Chevy Tracker. The passengers of the Tracker were only injured and were treated once police and EMS workers arrived.

Bryan, Diane’s 5-year-old son, survived but sustained heavy injuries, including severe head trauma and a lifetime of personal trauma to face.

6 /10 Police Papers

The initial reports were made with some vague language due to the outlying nature of the accident. It’s not every year, even, that someone drives up the wrong side of a road, let alone a highway.

There were immediate suspicions of Diane’s state of intoxication due to the chaotic nature of her driving and her decision to go down the wrong side of the road.

5 /10 Calls For Help

While driving, one of the Hace children took over her aunt’s phone to tell her father that they were still driving but that Diane was having some problems. The road ahead was blurry, and she was feeling disoriented.

Her brother tried to convince her to pull over and wait for someone to come and get her, as the whole family was supposed to be going in the same direction.

The phone those calls were made on was disposed of at a toll booth before the highway, showing that Diane had lost control not just of her faculties but of her patience for others.

4 /10 High Functioning, Not High Living

Diane was diagnosed, posthumously, as a high-functioning alcoholic. This meant that despite showing no outwards signs of alcohol abuse and dependency, she did suffer from it and kept it hidden.

This accident was the one time she couldn’t hide her problem as it came up to impact those around her. Her marijuana use also contributed to that addiction of substance abuse.

3 /10 Just Another Statistic

Unfortunately, as uncommon as Diane’s incident was, it was still another drunk driving accident. She didn’t mean to do what she did, but she couldn’t control herself.

Drunken motorists are responsible for more than 10,000 deaths a year due to drunken traffic accidents. These account for nearly one-third of the 38,000 traffic-related deaths that happen every year.


2 /10 Desperate Denial

Diane’s husband, Daniel, stood up for his wife at every opportunity after her death. He attributed her strange behavior to the possibility of a stroke until the autopsy reports denied it.

He tried to sue her brother Warren Hace because the car she died in was his, but he was sued back in turn for the murder of the Hace children and the surviving family members killed in the collision.

The charges were eventually settled quietly, as those who had to incur those costs of the law were already dead.


1 /10 The Cost Of A Drink

Diane’s shocking story and death led to several media pieces, most notably “There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane,” a documentary attributed to a quote pulled from the phone calls the young Hace daughter made to her father before she died.

Her accident and the conversation of its prevention went on to create a 2009 New York law making it a crime to drive under the influence with a minor in the car, further penalizing the irresponsible in the hopes they will think of others before acting.

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