On July 26, 2009, Warren Hance received a dreaded phone call. Using her Aunt Diane’s phone, his 8-year-old daughter Emma told him that her aunt was having difficulty with her vision and slurred speech.

The worrying thing about this was that Diane Schuler was the driver! Then Diane took the phone and told him that she was feeling disorientated.

Hance told his sister to pull over and wait for him to come and help her. Unfortunately, she did not heed his advice and continued driving. A tragedy was inevitable.

No-one in Westchester County had forgotten the devastating accident that had happened 75 years ago.

A bus traveling from Brooklyn to Sing Sing Prison in New York left the road and plummeted into a gorge.

The bus burst into flames and twenty people were killed.

They thought that it was the worst road accident ever to have happened there, but that was before Diane Schuler caused this catastrophic head-on collision.

Diane and her husband, Daniel had been having a weekend camping break at Hunter Lake Campground in Parksville, New York.

Their children, Bryan (5) and daughter, Erin (2) were with them, as well as her three nieces.  After packing up, they began the journey home to West Babylon.

It was decided that the children would travel with Diane in a Ford Windstar minivan, and Daniel would follow them in his truck accompanied by their dog.

All seemed fine on the return trip. They made their traditional pitstop at McDonald’s and filled up with fuel a few times.

There was nothing unusual about this normal New York family traveling back home after an enjoyable camping weekend.

Things Began To Get Strange

While driving down the New York Thruway, Diane called her brother and said that the traffic was heavy.

However, other motorists on the Thruway reported something completely different.

Eyewitnesses saw a minivan being driven erratically along the highway.

It was tailgating, flashing headlights, and honking aggressively while spanning two lanes. It then veered over and a woman was seen vomiting on the side of the road.

Warren received his daughter’s troubling phone call two hours later.

After the phone call, Diane Schuler crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge and was traveling along the Taconic State Parkway.

Whether intentionally or accidentally, Diane left her phone beside the highway and continued driving.

At 1.33 pm, two calls were made to 911 operators reporting that a minivan had been seen driving the wrong way up an exit ramp.

A minute later, four more callers declared that a minivan was speeding, the wrong way, down the parkway. 

It turns out that Schuler was the driver.

She continued speeding down the Taconic State Parkway and collided head-on with a Trailblazer. It spun out of control and crashed into a Chevrolet Tracker. 

The Horrendous Crash To Less Than Three Minutes

 Seven people lost their lives at the crash site. A further person died in the hospital and three others were injured.

Diane, her daughter, and two nieces probably died instantly. The three passengers in the Trailblazer were also killed on impact. 

Her son, Bryan, and one of the nieces survived the crash, but the niece later died in hospital.

Bryan had broken bones and severe head injuries which left him brain-damaged.

Repugnant Reasons For Her Behavior

People rushed to assist and pulled Diane out of the wreckage. They claim that there was a smashed vodka bottle on the floor of the car.

This significant information was taken into consideration in the autopsy report.

Investigations into the cause of the crash concluded that Diane Schuler had been under the influence of alcohol.

A toxicology report indicated that her blood alcohol level was double the legal limit.

Diane also had high levels of THC in her system. This could be the result of smoking marijuana shortly before the crash.

The toxicology report matched up with the eyewitness report of the vodka bottle found in the car. It would also account for the erratic driving, and the vomiting at the side of the road.

Family Denied Allegations

Diane Schuler’s family refutes the accusations that she had been drinking. “Unless you believe that a woman who’s like a PTA mom of the year decides this is the day I don’t give a dam.

I’m going to have eight or ten shots and smoke a joint in front of my kids and nieces, then something else had to happen,” claimed a private investigator hired by her husband, Daniel.

The owner of the campground insisted that Diane was sober when she left that morning. Another witness was a gas station employee.

He remembered that Diane had wanted to buy painkillers. He was also adamant that she was not drunk.

McDonald’s employees stated that Diane Schuler was sober when she placed her order at the counter.

After initially claiming that his wife had not had alcohol, Daniel confessed that they had consumed alcohol that weekend.

He insisted that Diane had not drunk any alcohol on the day before their departure. The day of the fateful accident.

He admitted that Diane smoked marijuana. Apparently, it was occasional use for insomnia. According to Daniel’s sister, Diane smoked the drug regularly.

Daniel tried to prove that Diane had not been intoxicated while driving. He suggested that her erratic driving may have been caused by a stroke, but this claim was disproved by the autopsy report.

Investigators ruled that the crash was a homicide, with the deaths being caused by negligent driving.

Following that verdict, David Paterson, the governor of New York proposed the Child Passenger Protection Act, making it a felony to drive under the influence of alcohol with a minor in the car.

The Perfect Woman

Right to the bitter end, Daniel Schuler has continued to present his wife as a perfect woman. He describes her as “reliable, trustworthy and honest” and not the monster murderer that she has been called.

Supportive friends and family cannot believe that she purposefully committed any act that would endanger children.

Daniel is continuing his quest to find a medical reason for the way she behaved that day.

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