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Nassau County Woman, Drunk and High, Kills 7 in Head-on Collision

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Diane Shuler was driving to her home on Long Island after spending a vacation weekend at a Parksville campground with her daughter, son and three nieces. The only problem was that she was driving the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway—she drove 1.7 miles south in the northbound lane of traffic before hitting a SUV head-on. The driver of the SUV, Guy Bastardi, 49, died immediately in the fiery crash. Other victims included Schuler’s three nieces, her daughter, Guy’s father, Guy’s friend, and Shuler herself. Schuler’s 5-year-old son is the only survivor of the crash.

Now, toxicology reports show that Diane was drunk and high on marijuana during the time of the crash. Schuler, who was 36 and 5 foot 2, had a blood-alcohol level of .19—more than twice the state limit of .08 in New York—with six additional grams of alcohol left undigested in her stomach. Furthermore, the toxicology reports also indicated that she had smoked fifteen minutes to an hour before the crash. In an interview last Friday, Schuler’s husband, a public safety officer in Nassau County, described his wife as a “social drinker” and said he knew that she occasionally smoked marijuana. Nevertheless, he alleged that she “seemed fine” before getting in the car to leave the campground around 9:30 a.m. with the children.

The Bastardi family plans to sue Schuler’s family for the death of their two relatives. Specifically, they believe Schuler’s husband acted as an accomplice in the crash because he admitted that he knew she had been smoking and drinking and still let her drive.

1 Comment

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  1. joe says:
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    Hello David –
    I am fairly sure you are mistaken. To my knowledge, the husband (Daniel Schuler) has not admitted that he knew she had been smoking and drinking. According to the information I’ve seen, there was no sign of drinking when the husband parted ways with the rest of his family that fateful day; and the husband has claimed he never saw his wife drunk.
    To me, the critical question is what happened during that car ride to turn Mrs. Schuler into a raging monster. Who made the phone call to her cell phone around noon, and what was said? Interview the five year old and ask him what was going on. Yes it will be traumatic for an already traumatized child, to have to answer questions but the public has a right to know.