8 Die in Crash on Taconic State Parkway #2

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by capoly, Aug 18, 2009.

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  1. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    I agree. And how could she have "chosen" the spot of the accident? Even if she checked it out on the way north, how could she be sure there would be an oncoming car at that spot when she came back the other way?

    Given her personality and impairment, I think it's far more likely that when she saw the oncoming traffic, either (a) she assumed they were normal oncoming traffic, or (b) her first thought was "Damn! I'm going the wrong way and I better hurry to the next exit!". Of course, an unimpaired person would just pull off the pavement; but we know DS was very, very drunk/high.
     
  2. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    Has anybody (except the husband and sister-in-law several years ago) suggested otherwise? Nobody here, least of all I.

    What I question is that DS formed a coherent plan to commit suicide, deliberately taking not only her own children but her nieces with her. In the first place, I'm not sure she was capable of forming such an intention. In the second, how often do aunts deliberately kill nieces and nephews?

    Of course, everyone is entitled to form an opinion to the contrary. I just don't see the evidence and in the blog cited, a lot of jumps in reason are expressed as logical deductions.
     
  3. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the clarification. I have read the police report, etc., but it's been years at this point. I'm happy to take your word for what is reported there.

    We've also seen reports that suggest those who are drunk get a sort of tunnel vision where they are unable to focus on anything except what is exactly in front of them. That may have allowed DS to ignore oncoming traffic. The car she hit may have come up too fast for her to see it before the collision.

    (I hope it's clear that NONE of what I am posting is intended to absolve DS for drinking/smoking pot and then getting into a car (especially with children!). She's guilty alright; I'm just not sure she's guilty of PREMEDITATED suicide/homicide.)
     
  4. AlwaysShocked

    AlwaysShocked Well-Known Member

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    Nova: You're welcome. The only reason I remembered it so well is that I just read it the other day.

    I read the pfysh (sp?) article and while difficult to contemplate, IMO suicide could have been the cause. The suicide theory that seems to make the most sense is that she had already been drinking for most of the drive and that when she was pulled over after going through the toll gate at the Tappan Zee Bridge and the niece called her father and said something was wrong with Aunt Diane - the ensuing conversation between Diane and her brother set something off. Did he tell her that she sounded like she was drunk? Did she become enraged when he said that?

    This is when she ditched her phone. Why did she do that?

    I can see things happening either way. That she was just totally trashed drunk, drove up the road, realized she was going North instead of South, got off at the first exit, went up the road a little and turned around, then ended up going back up the exit ramp she had just come down.

    I ALMOST did this one time myself. At a confusing on/off ramp of a major road. In broad daylight. Nothing at all to drink. And I didn't have any kids in the car. I DID end up seeing a puny little sign and that stopped me. There were no other cars around and I was able to turn around right there on the ramp. But that incident left me shaking. And ever since then I have been crazy paranoid in paying close, close attention to any and all signs near or on ramps!

    What I can't understand is all the stuff that happened after that last stop. FOUR cars were coming down the off ramp and had to swerve or pull over to the berm. They were beeping and flashing their lights at her. She never slowed, just continued on up the ramp. Once she got up onto the road she stayed in lane perfectly according to all witnesses. Numerous cars were going in the opposite direction that she was. They were beeping, flashing lights at her. At least two cars were in her lane, heading directly at her. They swerved to get out of the way. She never slowed down, never turned her head, nothing.

    Could this have been suicide? IMO it could have been.

    Adding to the suicide theory: The god-awful amount of undigested vodka in her stomach! She already had a blood level of 0.19. AND a LOT undigested in her stomach. It had been at least 1 1/2 hours since they left the McDonalds. She was seen vomiting at a rest area between there and the Tappan Zee Bridge. Presumably she would have emptied the contents of her stomach at that time.

    Meaning she would have had to have chugged a whole lot of straight vodka AFTER that. I can't remember the exact amount but I am pretty sure it was the equal to 8-10 shots.

    After vomiting, the next stop was the Bridge stop. Supposedly she was so out of it that she called her brother by her husband's name while talking with him. Could she have gone into an alcoholic rage at this point based on something he said - like "If you're drunk, I'll never forgive you. Just stay where you are, I'll come and get you. How in the hell could you do this? You are a real idiot!" Yes, she could have. She had the vodka bottle in the front seat with her. Could she have decided to gulp down that large amount of vodka that was found in her stomach? Yes, she could have.

    I feel so sorry for those poor children. I think at least the older ones must have been very, very frightened in the last minutes of their lives.

    The husband has been a perfect douchebag throughout - both before and after the event. I just learned from reading that blog that he lied to both the police and at his initial press conference by saying he had arrived at the campsite on Thursday. He never got there until Friday, about 4 hours before Diane arrived with the five children. The police picked this info up from his EZPass records. And it has never been made public where he was on that Thursday night.

    So there may have been a lot more to that "perfect marriage" than has ever met the eye. (Although, IMO who would want that pig husband?)

    Perhaps through depositions or the trial of the Bastardi family's civil case will bring out more information. Based on what is currently known, all anyone can do is speculate.
     
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  5. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    Loosing her cell phone is just as consistent with intoxication as with intentionally breaking contact.

    Any case I've ever heard of suicide-by-automobile involved a driver who swerved into oncoming traffic. In the case of DS, she passed at least four possible collisions with her eyes glued to the road ahead. She never swerved.
     
  6. robinparten

    robinparten New Member

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    One other note about the suicide theory - I personally have never thought that was what Diane was trying to do, though it certainly warrants discussion because it is as likely as any other theory. But if someone wants to commit suicide, doing it in a car is NOT a sure fire method. You are probably much more likely to end up surviving, perhaps with horrendous injuries, and having to live with whatever carnage you brought about.
     
  7. AlwaysShocked

    AlwaysShocked Well-Known Member

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    From a Wikipedia article on "Suicide methods". Interesting article. And God help the poor train operators of the world. One European country even has a designated mental health facility for traumatized train operators!

    But back to automobile accidents as a suicide method:

    "The real percentage of suicides among car accidents is not reliably known; studies by suicide researchers tell that "vehicular fatalities that are suicides vary from 1.6% to 5%".[45] Some suicides are misclassified as accidents, because suicide must be proven; "It is noteworthy that even when suicide is strongly suspected but a suicide note is not found, the case will be classified an 'accident.'"[46]

    Some researchers believe that suicides disguised as traffic accidents are far more prevalent than previously thought. One large-scale community survey (in Australia) among suicidal persons provided the following numbers: "Of those who reported planning a suicide, 14.8% (19.1% of male planners and 11.8% of female planners) had conceived to have a motor vehicle "accident"... Of all attempters, 8.3% (13.3% of male attempters) had previously attempted via motor vehicle collision."[47]"


    I think the biggest thing that bothers people - especially the Bastardi family -about this case is that it seems likely that there exists further, undisclosed information about what went down that day. The Hances are not talking and the husband is lying.

    Which I suspect is not that uncommon. For various reasons, families don't WANT to believe suicide. And they will go to great lengths of denial to believe a suicide was an accident. On a personal basis, I saw this happen with a longtime good friend about her son's death. Her only son had a blood level of medication that could have killed him 6 times over according to the toxicology report. But she has convinced herself that somehow this was all "accidental".
    I've never, ever argued with her about this. I just listen and express condolences.

    Here's the link to the article:
    Suicide methods - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In light of the unfortunate and oh so sad situation with Paris Jackson, I would imagine we will be hearing a lot about suicide over the coming days.
     
  8. arielilane

    arielilane Justice for Morgan

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  9. CHERIE.T

    CHERIE.T Former Member

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    Thank you so much Ariellane!
     
  10. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    I agree. But I doubt DS was coherent enough to make that calculation. (I'm not switching "sides". LOL. I don't think it was suicide, but for other reasons.)
     
  11. packerdog

    packerdog Active Member

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    I think Diane thought this is the only way to really hurt her mother, by taking away her grandchildren all at once. She couldn't murder her nieces and children one by one so this was the best way she thought. I can't remember exactly, maybe someone here does, about Diane's mother being invited to some function her niece was going to be in and this made her furious. I think she still held a lot of contempt for her mother. MOO
     
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  12. BunnyHop

    BunnyHop Former Member

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    Newly lurking. :fence:

    I can't even get into this as it's very close to where I live.
    Perhaps I will go back and read more.

    The Taconic is very scary in some spots. It's narrow and twisting. I try to stay off it in winter.

    I read a month or 2 or 3 ago that an elderly man was driving the wrong way.
    Scares the bejeebers out of me.

    The other thing I want to mention, a long ago co-worker had a traumatic accident on the Taconic. It seems that while she was driving (northbound I think) She hit and killed someone who was pulled over after an accident.

    She has suffered PTSD as a result and will never be the same.

    Many who live upstate drive the Taconic every day to work going south.
    It's scary.
     
  13. Day Dreamer

    Day Dreamer Member

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    BBM. This has always been speculation; but, it simply isn't true. I just finished reading both books (Bastardi Family & Jackie Hance). It had been stated that Diane was the only one of her siblings that didn't have a relationship with her. That's simply not true. Apparently Warren Hance didn't have a relationship with her either. After the accident he finally let his mom back in ... inviting her to Jackie's baby shower for sweet baby Kasey Rose. He felt there had been enough loss.

    Both books broke my heart. I do not know how in the world Jackie and Warren survived or maintained their marriage. Jackie went into great detail regarding her life after the accident. It's really a very tough read. This accident destroyed so many lives.

    Danny's behavior just infuriates me. Jackie & Warren never agreed with his actions. At one point Jackie could take no more and sent Danny a text telling him he should apologize to all of the families for Diane's actions. He text her back "You're crazy. Get help." Ugh what a real winner he is.

    I hate that all of these lawsuits and bitterness continues to prolong everyone's suffering. Ultimately Diane is responsible for her own actions. I often wonder how she would have felt if she knew the pain she ended up causing so many people.
     
  14. Day Dreamer

    Day Dreamer Member

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    BBM

    I just finished reading both books. I have to absolutely agree with the bold statement above. I also understand their pain and desire to know the truth; however, their bitterness rang through loud and clear. I was very put off by it. It also made me deeply sad because with that much bitterness there can never truly be peace or healing for them which they so deeply need and deserve. Then, reading Jackie's book made me even angrier at some of the comments made by the Bastardi family.

    One even made a comment regarding Bryan. I'm sorry but he is an innocent child. He has no culpability in any of this. That poor child will suffer for the rest of his life, mentally and physically, for the choices his mother made. No one has a right to add to that. His own father does enough of that on their own.

    I can absolutely understand their feelings towards Danny. I don't like the guy one bit. Unfortunately, the Hances are being forced to be held responsible for Diane's actions that day as well as Danny's actions since. However, I feel like the Bastardi family were a bit hypocritical judging Danny for taking part in the documentary when they decided to do the same.

    They unfairly criticized the Hance family for every step they have taken. Their comments regarding the Hance Family Foundation went way beyond crossing the line. I think it is a wonderful foundation that does so much good. Most importantly, it helps them deal with their grief. How could anyone criticize that? They openly judge and criticize the Hances while taking offense to others doing the same towards them.

    I felt the Bastardi's pain as I read their words. My heart breaks for them. They, of all people, should understand that everyone deals with grief in their own way. I wish they, and everyone involved, could somehow find some kind of peace and comfort instead of being haunted by the actions no one had any control over other than Diane Schuler herself.

    I know that not one of those people that died that day would have wanted their loved ones to go through the hell this has put them through. How could any of them deal with that kind of stupid, senseless loss when I can't even wrap my own mind around it? There has been far too much pain already for any of them to have to feel pain resulting from the actions of each other in the wake of such devastation. :moo:
     
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  15. SusanB.

    SusanB. New Member

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    Glad to see I'm not the only one who has been haunted by this awful tragedy. As an old Long Island girl I feel a kinship with DS; she reminds me of a younger me, without the type A personality.
    Has anyone seen the police report with the times from Danny and Diane's EZPass info? Just curious if the conflict in Danny's statements was ever resolved. Did DS work a full day Friday and then drive up? If so they must have arrived pretty late and I bet the kids were cranky. I think it's possible DS had bitten off more than she could chew and may have been drinking all weekend to help her cope. Unless Danny talks someday we'll never know. Not much of a vacation for DS, it was only one day really. I think she put a lot of pressure on herself to make it all perfect for the kids and then get the girls back home on time. I agree with the above comments about the Bastardi book. I can imagine their pain, having had a couple of tragedies in my own family. But their nasty comments are over the top in a couple of places.
    I found it interesting that DS wore sunglasses indoors in the videos. Indication of a bad hangover, or current drinking?
    Anyway, once all lawsuits are settled, maybe some more info will come out. Does anyone know what the status of all the litigation is?
     
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  16. Day Dreamer

    Day Dreamer Member

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    No, you are not the only one haunted by this. I ordered both books. They arrived the same day. I started reading around noon and finished both by 6am the next morning ... I couldn't put them down until finished. Both were just gut wrenching to read. I did read in one of the news articles that Jeanne Bastardi is writing another book with a ghost writer this time. I have no idea what will come out with that book though.

    I keep trying to think what those poor children went through. It's just unbearable to think about. I honestly have no idea how Jackie survived; but, she has struggled more than any human should ever have to. I was so excited for her when I found out she was pregnant; and, I even prayed for them to have another little girl. You can never replace your children; but, from everything I've seen, she was an amazing mother who deserves to have some of that joy return. That little girl has 3 amazing big sisters that her family will make sure she knows.

    Regarding the EZpass... I have done a lot of research; and, I have yet to find where Danny has come clean about where he was on that Thursday. I think that is probably key here. I think he knows why all of this happened. His whole personality just rubs me the wrong way. I have no idea what time Diane went through or if she worked the entire day. I don't recall ever seeing that info either.

    I also get where you say you feel bad for Diane. I do as well (never thought I would say that). There's nothing that can excuse her behavior; but, I do feel it was a very bad reaction to something that happened that weekend ... or maybe a build up. From what we have seen from Danny, I can only imagine what kind of life she led with him. It makes me incredibly angry how he is with his son as well. My heart breaks for that sweet little boy. He deserves to have appropriate therapies and an abundance of love to get him through this. I don't feel he will get that from Danny; but, I can always pray to be wrong. :please:

    I agree with you that it was extremely important to Diane that everyone see her and her life as perfect. I think she struggled with that. I think she drank and smoked pot to help deal with the stress of appearing perfect. I think she also effectively hid that from everyone until that day. It would shatter her facade of the "perfect life". Danny may have known; but, with the little amount of time they actually spent together, I don't know if he truly even knew her either. I think she was his "meal ticket". It's sad that anyone would feel that pressure to appear perfect. We are all flawed.

    I've also looked for the litigation info. I haven't been able to find anything; so, I assume it hasn't gone to court yet.
     
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  17. SusanB.

    SusanB. New Member

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    Is it possible that Danny went straight upstate after his Thursday work shift? That would have made his arrival there in the early hours of Friday. He may have simply misspoken when he said he went up there on Thurs. His job may have allowed him to bring the dog, so he wouldn't have had to go home after leaving work.
    I tend to believe the Bastardis when they say the gelcaps and Chicken Selects stories were figments of Tom Ruskin's imagination. They saw the McD's video and say there was no extended conversation there, no manager coming to assist, just DS placing her order and then taking it. On the Sunoco video, she appears to look quickly at the coffee counter and then leave. Did she actually buy gas there? The video doesn't show that, but there are gaps.
    I don't believe DS was suicidal that day, unless she eventually blacked out and in a fraction of a second decided to end it all. She never would have planned to harm those kids. There may have been no big drama that weekend, she may just have been drinking because that is what she liked to do. I suspect this was a pattern for her: feed the kids, let them play for a while, then settle them down for the long ride. She would prepare a little drink and sip it on her way home, arriving pleasantly buzzed. Maybe this was the first time she smoked pot with her alcohol and the reaction was unexpected. I know when we were much younger, my ex-husband could never smoke a joint and drink. He always ended up getting sick. I wonder if the Bastardis are right about Danny checking into rehab? That would explain a lot. All so very, very sad.
     
  18. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    I don't drink hard liquor - to me it tastes like gasoline. But I would assume that if she was a long time drinker, maybe she would become immune to the taste? Is that even a possibility? I could certainly tell the difference between vodka and water - especially straight out of the bottle. My ex-mil used to drink martinis (vodka and vermouth) and that's the last time I ever tasted it (a good 20 years ago). IMHO - you would have to know the difference. But maybe I'm wrong.

    MOO

    Mel
     
  19. BuzzieCat

    BuzzieCat Member

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    (Bolded by me)

    But her alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. This was more than just having an unexpected reaction with pot and alcohol. IMO.

    I doubt she did it on purpose because even if she were suicidal, it's unlikely she would have wanted to take the kids down with her. But she did drink a whole awful lot while driving, and she had to know that wasn't safe.
     
  20. nosysw

    nosysw Well-Known Member

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    Nope. You're not wrong. Vodka is my liquor of choice. You can't mistake it. :twocents:
     
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