Suffolk County Child Protective Services are conducting a formal investigation into how much Daniel Schuler knew about his wife’s drinking and drug use on July 26–the day of the Taconic Parkway crash.
The incident killed eight people, including the couple’s 2-year-old daughter, Erin, three nieces, three strangers, and Diane herself. Their 5-year-old son, Bryon, was the only survivor.
The investigation was sparked when sources reported that toxicology tests showed that Daniel’s wife, Diane, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 with 6 grams of alcohol still in her stomach.
A broken vodka bottle was found in the burned vehicle. The autopsy also found undigested vodka in her stomach, according to the Westchester medical examiner. A medical examiner’s report ruled out an aneurysm, stroke, or heart attack.
Despite this, Schuler defended himself at a news conference recently: “I never saw her drunk since the day I met her,” he said. According to the New York Daily News, Diane was taking the bunch to get breakfast at McDonald’s. Her husband trusted her with the car as she was known to drive “slowly and carefully.”
The purpose of the aforementioned investigation, according to one source, is “to find out what he [Schuler] knew and when he knew it.” Daniel Schuler could be found negligent if he allowed his wife to drive the children home all the while knowing she was intoxicated.