Episode 19: There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane
On Sunday, July 26, 2009, Diane Schuler left the campgrounds in upstate New York where she was vacationing with her family and set off towards home on Long Island. With her were five young children: her son, her daughter, and three nieces. Four hours later, she drove the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway for nearly two miles – eventually crashing into an oncoming SUV, killing herself and seven others.
Nine days after her deadly crash, Diane’s toxicology report revealed she had a blood-alcohol content of .19% – the equivalent of ten drinks and more than twice the legal limit – as well as a high blood level of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. In sharp contrast to the toxicology report, Schuler had no known history of substance abuse or psychological problems and was generally known as a loving and stable wife and mother.
In the aftermath, Diane Schuler was portrayed as a reckless drunk and a mother who cracked. But was she the monster the public made her out to be? Or the perfect wife and mother described by so many who knew her?