Official: Wrong Way Crash Mom Drunk, High

The mangled SUV was towed away after a family's minivan going in the wrong direction crashed into in and another car on a suburban parkway in New York July 26, 2009, killing eight people, including four children.
WCBS
The Long Island mother who drove her minivan the wrong way down a surburban parkway before crashing in a wreck that killed eight people was drunk and high on marijuana at the time of the accident, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Westchester Country District Attorney Janet DiFiore said a medical examiner's report found that Diane Schuler's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. She says the autopsy also found that Schuler was impaired by marijuana.

Schuler, her 2-year-old daughter and three young nieces died in the July 26 crash on the Taconic Parkway in Westchester County. Three men in the SUV she hit also died.

Schuler's 5-year-old son survived

A complete toxicology report is expected to be released Wednesday, according to CBS station WCBS-TV in New York. On Monday, state police reported witness accounts indicated Schuler driving aggressively and erratically even before the deadly wreck.

Schuler and her family were on their way back home to Long Island after a weekend camping trip. Her husband, Daniel Schuler, told police that everything seemed fine when his wife left the campsite at 9:30. He headed off for a fishing trip.

But Schuler drove south on the parkway's northbound lane for nearly two miles, sending oncoming traffic scattering. Six motorists called 911 before the crash, reports WCBS.

According to witness reports compiled by police, a red Ford mini van - the same type that Schuler was driving - was spotted straddling two lanes, tailgating, flashing its headlight and beeping the horn.

One witnesses said the van tried to pass his vehicle on the shoulder of the highway and another said the van drove across a grass divider at one point on the highway, according to WCBS.

According to Warren Hance, her brother and the father of three of the victims, she called him that afternoon complaining of feeling ill and may have been disoriented. He told her to remain there and he would go meet her. She apparently ignored the offer.

The three other victims - Daniel Longo, 81-year-old Michael Bastardi and his 49-year-old son Guy - were in an SUV traveling northbound.