Diane Schuler and family
The morning of July 26, 2009, marked the end of a weekend camping trip for 36-year-old Diane Schuler and her family. She kissed her husband goodbye, settled her two children and three nieces in her minivan and set out on the two-and-a-half-hour drive from upstate New York to Long Island.

During the drive, Diane called her brother Warren and told him she wasn't feeling well. Soon after, Diane swerved into oncoming traffic on the Taconic State Parkway, where she crashed head-on into an SUV carrying Michael Bastardi, his son Guy and family friend Daniel Longo. All three men were killed, along with Diane, her daughter Erin and her nieces Emma, Alyson and Kate. Only 5-year-old Bryan Schuler survived.

Nine days later, Diane's toxicology report was released. Results found a high level of marijuana in her system, along with a blood alcohol level of 0.19—the equivalent of 10 drinks. A broken bottle of vodka was also found in the wreckage of her minivan.

Daniel Schuler denies that his wife drank or did drugs that day and believes an underlying medical condition contributed to her behavior. "She was a perfect wife, an outstanding mother," he says. "I go to bed every night knowing my heart is clear. She did not drink. She's not an alcoholic."

The official police report has not yet been released, and more questions than answers remain about the case. If Diane Schuler did drink and use drugs, how could no one have known? And why would she get behind the wheel with a car full of children?

FROM: The Diane Schuler Story: Was She Driving Drunk?
Published on October 27, 2009

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