Another Claim in Wrong-Way Deaths of 8

     RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CN) – The husband of a woman who killed herself and seven other people, including four children, driving drunk and stoned the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway, has sued the estate of the man his wife crashed into and killed. Daniel Schuler also sued his brother-in-law, whose car Schuler’s late wife was driving and who lost his three daughters in the 2009 crash.
     Diane Schuler, a 36-year-old Long Island mother, drove nearly 2 miles in the wrong direction on the Taconic Parkway on July 26, 2009, before crashing head-on into another car, killing everyone in both cars except Schuler’s 5-year-old son.
     Schuler died with her 2-year-old daughter and three nieces, ages 5, 7 and 9. Guy Bastardi, 49, was driving the other car, accompanied by his father, Michael, 81, and their friend, Daniel Longo, 74.
     Toxicology reports indicate that Schuler had drunk 10 shots of liquor and had smoked marijuana. Investigators found a shattered vodka bottle in the wreckage. Schuler was driving the family to her home on Long Island after a weekend camping trip.
     Schuler had borrowed a car belonging to her brother, Warren Hance, whose three young daughters all died in the crash.
     Now Schuler’s husband, Daniel, on behalf of his dead daughter and the son who survived the crash, has sued the Office of the Suffolk County Public Administrator, as court-appointed administrator of his late wife’s estate. He also sued Hance and Roseann Guzzo, executrix for the Bastardis.
     Bryan, now 7, is permanently disabled with severe injuries to his eyes, arm and legs, according to the 8-page complaint.
     The complaint in Suffolk County Court claims that Diane Schuler and Bastardi were both driving recklessly on July 26.
     Schuler says both drivers were in an “inappropriate physical condition and state of mind” and driving at “a dangerous, unlawful and excessive rate of speed.” Schuler also claims that each car was “in a state of disrepair.”
     He seeks damages for funeral expenses and medical bills.
     Criminal charges were never filed. Prosecutors said at the time that the charges died with Schuler.
     The Schulers are represented by Kevin Grennan of Garden City.
     Months after the crash, the Bastardis’ estate sued Schuler’s estate and Hance.
     ABC News reported that Hance’s wife, Jackie, sued Daniel Schuler this week, the day after Schuler filed his lawsuit.
     After the accident, Daniel Schuler defended his wife’s innocence and disputed the results of the toxicology report, claiming his wife did not abuse drugs and alcohol.
     HBO this week aired a documentary about the crash, called “There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane.” The phrase is said to be the last words spoken by Hance’s 8-year-old daughter, Emma, when she called home just before the accident.

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