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  1. #1
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    Taconic Crash: Diane Schuler's Final Hours

    Tom Ruskin, the president of CMP Group Investigations, has been hard at work trying to piece together the final moments of the crash that has horrified the nation and left Schuler's loved ones baffled.
    "We've got multiple investigators working hundreds of hours trying to retrace her steps," he said. "Toll receipts, cell phone records, credit card receipts."
    The timeline began at 9:30 a.m. at a campground in upstate New York. Ruskin says shortly after Schuler left for home, appearing sober, she stopped at McDonald's.

    In surveillance video captured shortly after at a gas station, Schuler appeared sober and in control, Ruskin says.
    "You see Diane Schuler filling up the minivan, and then you very clearly see her entering the convenience store," he says. "We now know that she was attempting to purchase Tylenol or Advil gel caps. Did she appear normal? Absolutely."

    At 11:37 a.m., Schuler's niece Emma, 8, called her father, Warren Hance, Schuler's brother, to tell him they were running late. At 12:08 p.m. the Hances called back and had what has been described as a "normal" conversation with Schuler. But over the next 48 minutes, something went terribly wrong.
    At 12:56 p.m., Emma called her father back in a panic.
    "What did Emma say to her dad?" Ruskin said. "She's expressing ... something is wrong with Diane. Diane is incoherent, she is confused and they are lost."
    The call dropped out and Schuler's cell phone was later found on top of a wall by a bridge near the highway. "It means 99.9 percent sure she got out of the car," private investigator Tom Ruskin later said.
    Schuler's brother called the police to ask them to issue an Amber alert. But by then, it was likely too late, according to Ruskin.



    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=8350259

    ETA Don't know why there are links in article but can't seem to remove them.

    So wish someone stopped to help Emma.


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  3. #2
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    8 Die in Crash on Taconic State Parkway #2

    Please continue here. Is there anything that you would like in this first post? Let me know.

    Salem

    Link to Thread 1: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...=87087&page=47

    Photos from Steve2010 (hope this works)

    Here is an overview of Hunter Lake Campground. State Route 17 is at the lower left corner

    http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...unter-Lake.jpg

    Here is a google earth image of the route I believe they took to arrive in Liberty

    http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...to-Liberty.jpg

    Here is a google earth image of the Sunoco and the McDonalds in Liberty that I think they stopped at.

    http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ald-Sunoco.jpg

    This is a google earth image of the Ramapo Service Area

    http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20.../ds-Ramapo.jpg

    Here is a google earth image of the first portion of their trip - which shows from the campground to the TZ Bridge

    http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...s-route-17.jpg

    Here is a google earth image of the last portion of their trip. Reminder, this route has not been confirmed

    http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...z-overview.jpg

    This is a google earth image of the area where the pullover is after the toll-booths.

    http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...z-bridge-1.jpg

    This is a google earth image of where she made a left turn onto an OFF ramp to end up southbound on the northbound side of the Taconic Parkway

    http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...s-off-ramp.jpg
    Last edited by Salem; 08-19-2009 at 03:25 PM.


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  5. #3
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    Thanks Salem! Do you think the timeline might be a good thing to have in the first post?


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  7. #4
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    Hey SleuthyMama - do you know which post it is in? I would be happy to add it.

    Salem

    ETA: Also any quick links to news media outlets that everyone is depending on for updates?


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  9. #5
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    I found some news articles about the accident. LE found a bottle of Absolut vodka in the van, toxicology reports show she consumed 10oz DURING the 90 mile drive.

    Toxicology tests did not show what she drank, but a jumbo 1.75-liter bottle of Absolut vodka was found in the wreckage of her Ford Windstar minivan.

    She consumed at least 10 ounces of liquor during the reckless 90-mile drive from a campground in Sullivan County to Briarcliff Manor in Westchester County, police said.

    She smoked pot within an hour of driving the wrong way on the Taconic heading home to Long Island, police said.

    The revelations brought outrage from the family of the men killed in the SUV — but silence from Schuler’s relatives.
    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...#ixzz0Oe2T7fPX

    Now I understand better... could not have been drinking something she didn't know contained alcohol. While I feel sad for her husband/family I can understand why the mens' families are angry. For Mr. Schuler to continue denying she drank would be insulting. The girls didn't have a bottle of Abolut!! Terrible for all families.

    Police could not say if Schuler got wasted while driving or stopped along the way. It was unclear if she was drinking before she got behind the wheel to drive the children home from camping.

    Her husband, Daniel Schuler, told cops that his wife was fine when they left about 9:30 a.m. He drove one car straight home to West Babylon, L.I., while she took the kids to McDonald's.

    Ann Scott, 77, who owns the campsite the family visited for three years, saw Schuler off.

    "I got pretty close to her and waved goodbye,”" she said. "If she had alcohol in her breath, I would have smelled it."
    So she wasn't sitting around drinking with other people either. I didn't know all this...


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  11. #6
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    The timeline began at 9:30 a.m. at a campground in upstate New York. Ruskin says shortly after Schuler left for home, appearing sober, she stopped at McDonald's.

    In surveillance video captured shortly after at a gas station, Schuler appeared sober and in control, Ruskin says.
    "You see Diane Schuler filling up the minivan, and then you very clearly see her entering the convenience store," he says. "We now know that she was attempting to purchase Tylenol or Advil gel caps. Did she appear normal? Absolutely."

    At 11:37 a.m., Schuler's niece Emma, 8, called her father, Warren Hance, Schuler's brother, to tell him they were running late. At 12:08 p.m. the Hances called back and had what has been described as a "normal" conversation with Schuler. But over the next 48 minutes, something went terribly wrong.
    At 12:56 p.m., Emma called her father back in a panic.
    "What did Emma say to her dad?" Ruskin said. "She's expressing ... something is wrong with Diane. Diane is incoherent, she is confused and they are lost."
    I've been following this fairly close, but have not posted anything about it until today. I keep going back and forth with theories, thoughts and questions.

    If the timeline quoted is correct - and I assume it is, since it has been reported this way in numerous places - am I correct to believe that DS consumed the equivalent of 10 shots of alcohol over the course of about 48 minutes? (12:08 "normal conversation" to 12:56 "there's something wrong with Diane")

    Is that even physically possible? And if so, how long does it take the liquor to enter your bloodstream and spike your BAC?

    When is it theorized that she smoked the pot? When stopped for one of those phone calls?

    I still don't know what I think happened. It doesn't really make sense to me. I sometimes wonder if she was possessed by the Devil himself.........



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  13. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    Please continue here. Is there anything that you would like in this first post? Let me know.

    Salem
    Perhaps the images I posted on page 38 of the first thread ?


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  15. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamfish View Post
    If the timeline quoted is correct - and I assume it is, since it has been reported this way in numerous places - am I correct to believe that DS consumed the equivalent of 10 shots of alcohol over the course of about 48 minutes? (12:08 "normal conversation" to 12:56 "there's something wrong with Diane")


    If it were me (and thank you, God, that it was not), I might have been drinking already during the 12:08 conversation, just not to where someone could detect it in my voice on the phone. Then I'm drinking more over the next hour, and I'm really soused by then--noticeably, as in "there's something wrong with...." Then, with alcohol still in the stomach, I guess I wouldn't be quite as soused as I was about to be, when I drove the wrong way and got myself and all those other people killed. Yep, I'm pretty sure I could've downed 10 shots in that time, that way. (Wow, it's depressing to imagine this in such detail though. She was pouring it down herself. But then... I've done that, too, and I have the chipped teeth to prove it.)

    While it takes a serious drinker to do that, I'm pretty sure I could've done it.



  16. #9
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    I can see Diane trying to straighten out if she was hung over from the night before by ingesting small amounts of alcohol to help her feel better, but to slug it down in such a reckless manner to get blind drunk behing the wheel of a car with 5 small helpless children as passengers is beyond the pale. I have known many an alcoholic and have seen them taper off so as not to go into convulsions and they know just how to do this. It seems to me that Diane went into her drinking frenzy purposefully and with absolutely no regard for her life or anyone else's.


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  18. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    Hey SleuthyMama - do you know which post it is in? I would be happy to add it.

    Salem

    ETA: Also any quick links to news media outlets that everyone is depending on for updates?
    There were a couple. I'll see what I can find. We could add links to a few newspapers that have continuing coverage. Like lohud.com, th-record.com, newsday.com etc.


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  20. #11
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    We know she tried to buy some otc medication and they didn't have it, I'm thinking she started the drinking/pot smoking then to help numb the pain, only the pain was severe and wasn't going away so she kept drinking. I wonder what kind of drinking cup she may have had with her? Maybe a large travel mug or maybe she had a large drink container from McDonalds? You could easily fit 10 shots into one of them?
    I wonder if things would have been different if the store had the medicines she was looking for? I wonder if things would have been different if she had only gone to the dentist and had things taken care of?
    I hate the dentist myself but when I had an absessed tooth I could not keep ignoring it, it only gets worse and you have the chance of the infection traveling up to your brain.

    VB
    Boyfriends and girlfriends are not Babysitters.
    Just because you want to be with somebody does not mean they will take care of your children.


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  22. #12
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    Well, this alcoholic says: nobody starts drinking by downing 10 shots while on the road with kids on a Sunday morning.

    Hardcore drinking behavior. Classic.



  23. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamfish View Post
    I've been following this fairly close, but have not posted anything about it until today. I keep going back and forth with theories, thoughts and questions.

    If the timeline quoted is correct - and I assume it is, since it has been reported this way in numerous places - am I correct to believe that DS consumed the equivalent of 10 shots of alcohol over the course of about 48 minutes? (12:08 "normal conversation" to 12:56 "there's something wrong with Diane")

    Is that even physically possible? And if so, how long does it take the liquor to enter your bloodstream and spike your BAC?

    When is it theorized that she smoked the pot? When stopped for one of those phone calls?

    I still don't know what I think happened. It doesn't really make sense to me. I sometimes wonder if she was possessed by the Devil himself.........

    I don't believe she consumed that much alcohol in 48 minutes. I believe she was drinking alcohol for most of the trip, but at the end of the trip it caught up with her in a way she didn't expect. She got too drunk - drunker than she had "planned."

    Reports indicate that she smoked pot 15 minutes to one hour before the collision. She may have smoked to try to take the edge off of how bad the alcohol had made her feel.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!


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  25. #14
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    I know of a girl at my previous job who had absessed tooth with no insurance so she wouldnt go to dentist, she ended up with brain absess that left her fighting for her life and she ended up in wheel chair and had to learn to walk and talk all over again.. She had a little
    2 yr old and was a single mom when this happened.,. If this is what happened to this mom I'm sure she would have been taking anything she could to cut the pain, without reasoning the consequensess...


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  27. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas Bride View Post
    We know she tried to buy some otc medication and they didn't have it, I'm thinking she started the drinking/pot smoking then to help numb the pain, only the pain was severe and wasn't going away so she kept drinking. I wonder what kind of drinking cup she may have had with her? Maybe a large travel mug or maybe she had a large drink container from McDonalds? You could easily fit 10 shots into one of them?
    I wonder if things would have been different if the store had the medicines she was looking for? I wonder if things would have been different if she had only gone to the dentist and had things taken care of?
    I hate the dentist myself but when I had an absessed tooth I could not keep ignoring it, it only gets worse and you have the chance of the infection traveling up to your brain.

    VB
    All due respect, VB (and I am a broken record here, it's true) - only a seasoned drinker could have ingested that much alcohol (and would have under the circumstances of driving 5 kids home on a Sunday morning) and not been face down.

    This wasn't an "I'm in physical pain and all I have is vodka and reefer" thing. This was a "I have a hidden substance abuse issue" thing. Toothache or no toothache, headache or no headache, she planned to drink on that trip because she wouldn't be around anyone who could "catch" her at it. She thought she would be just fine because she had done it before without any problems.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!



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