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. nrdsb4

    nrdsb4 Well-Known Member

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    Diane was only 36 years old. Not surprising at all that her liver was okay. Most likely her drinking had escalated after having children and being faced with the stress of being a full time worker, full time mom, and from what even Daniel and his family have said, the head of the household in every way. Her kids were young, so she probably hadn't been drinking heavy like that for long enough to do damage. Also, if she's smoking pot every day like we've been told, it takes less alcohol on top of that to get a good buzz.
     
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  2. Chewy

    Chewy Well-Known Member

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    One of the other things to consider is that if she was this neat freak type A personality who was a clean freak, she may have hid her bottles and disposed of them in ways that the average alcoholic wouldn't do. So her husband really may have had no idea what was going on.
     
  3. AlwaysShocked

    AlwaysShocked Well-Known Member

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    I too was at one time in my life involved in a relationship with a functional alcoholic. A "beer only" alcoholic. He held down a very good job and was a really nice guy. I knew this man "liked his beer", and yes there were times when he would "drink too much". But I had NO idea of the true extent of his drinking.

    Until, after almost two years, we moved in together. It was not long at all that I began to see the reality of his drinking. I really cared for him and tried to convince him to get help with this, but he was in strong, strong denial and would not do so. I ended up moving out due to this.

    About the liver: During the time we were "together" this man had a medical condition that required a hospitalization. Numerous tests were run on him including an abdominal CAT scan and liver enzyme tests. I privately was very honest with his doctor and specifically asked if there was anything showing about his liver or the liver enzyme tests that could be alcoholism related. He said there was nothing at all! So there you go - because I thought that if anyone would ever have messed up enzymes it would be this man. He drank every single day of his life.
     
  4. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    NO ONE IS TRYING TO EXONERATE DIANE SHULER! NO ONE IS "GIVING HER A PASS."

    Please read the posts above.

    Yes, lots of people drive drunk, but few are THAT drunk so early in the day and with a vehicle full of beloved children. (There have been no claims that DS didn't love her children and nieces.)

    The speculation re tooth pain is merely an attempt to explain why DS might have been self-medicating so heavily. Nobody is saying a sore tooth excuses her for climbing into a car and continuing to drink as she drove.
     
  5. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    Just FYI, a friend of mine who has had a liver transplant and is very much an expert was just saying the other night that it actually takes a LOT of alcohol over a lot of years to do a lot of damage to the liver. It is apparently a pretty hearty organ.
     
  6. AlwaysShocked

    AlwaysShocked Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and there are others who have had liver problems and needed replacement who have never had a drop of liquor in their lives. Bottom line being, "no medical evidence of liver disease" does not really tell us much at all about someone's drinking habits.
     
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  7. reb

    reb Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Nova. I don't understand why it's such a shocker that there are some of us who are still trying to make sense of this strange case.. I still say there are many things that don't add up, and it's not ever really going to be a 'closed case'. Even it's true she just got stressed & went on a binge, there are still so many unanswered questions that don't make sense.
    But, at any rate- what hot cawfee said (#1762)- that probably pretty much sums it up.
    It's hard to accept there's people out there like this.. but it's just a reminder that in life, things (& people) are often not what they seem..
     
  8. Chewy

    Chewy Well-Known Member

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    I can get the frustration in the post to which you were replying. Many functional alcoholics are drunk that early in the morning. That's how they get through their day.

    I don't think the woman committed suicide with the kids in the car, unless she had some vendetta against the world she'd have to know that by killing themselves she'd have to take out another person as well. And if she was planning this, the child who called her parents would never have gotten her hands on a cell phone.

    Diane's behavior is completely in line with black out drunk behavior. People do things on autopilot and have no recollection later.


    http://gizmodo.com/5977688/what-happens-to-your-brain-when-you-get-black-out-drunk


    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/17/new-york-fatal-wrong-way-crash/2091615/

    You also have to consider how hard she really had to try to hide this from a husband who is in such a state of denial that even after all the evidence came out, he's still denying that she did what she did.

    I think the reason that people are getting frustrated is that the only thing that makes this case not flat out cut and dry is the denial on the part of the husband. Otherwise it's crystal clear what happened.

    Even if she DID have excruciating pain, what sense does it make to suggest she guzzled booze and pot to make it go away. Who does that? Who does that while driving a car? Who does that with kids in the car. It's just an absolutely ridiculous question to some of us. What person on the planet decides to guzzle some vodka to stop the pain while driving on the highway with kids in the car?
     
  9. CCmakes3

    CCmakes3 Active Member

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    Furthermore, if she were in sooooo much pain that she had no choice but to get hammered and high.....who goes on a camping trip with 5 kids with that bad of a toothache???? Wouldn't most people in that condition stay home, sleep in their own bed, and be close to ice packs/heating pads/drugstores/medications/soft foods, etc???
     
  10. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    I don't remember what witnesses said about how she spent her Saturday night so I could be quite off but I'm sorta wondering if it wasn't really a case of "how could she be already so drunk if she started so early in the morning?" as much as a case of waking up still very drunk after indulging late Saturday night and in the early Sunday hours (or all weekend?) and continuing in the morning to avoid hangover while driving or something.
     
  11. nrdsb4

    nrdsb4 Well-Known Member

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    There has never been any proof whatsoever that Diane Schuler had a tooth abscess. Daniel Schuler's first responses about his wife were that she was healthy. The tooth theory was thrown out there later by the spin doctors. Additionally, there has never been any proof that she went into the convenience store looking for pain medicine. All of that was thrown out there by Ruskin and Barberra after the fact, and people grabbed onto that and ran with it as though it were established fact. I've lost count of the number of times I've read about "the abscess" in this thread as though it were a known, incontrovertible fact. I think it's been bandied about so many times that some people no longer remember that it has NEVER been verified any more than it has been verified that Diane had any other medical condition which would cause her to crave vodka and weed. The TOOTHACHE theory took on a life of its own and is now completely ingrained in urban legend.

    The reason that this toothache theory (or any of the other far fetched cockamamie theories that Daniel et al have thrown out there) bother so many people is that it is a clear attempt on his part to suggest that a)factors beyond Diane's control caused her to drive the wrong way on that highway, and therefore b) her guilt is mitigated. Understandable at first, but once the second set of tests confirmed this, no longer acceptable. The families of the other victims have reacted with disgust at Daniel Schuler's continued denials that Diane was drunk because by insisting the toxicology tests are wrong or were caused by diabetes, altered chemistry caused by a stroke, etc, he is saying that Diane was NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HER ACTIONS. I totally understand how this could be offensive to them and am completely baffled by the notion that repeatedly, publicly denying the truth in order to shield someone from any responsibility for that person's action "should" result in pity rather than any other equally valid emotion.

    Those who insist that Diane had some kind of terrible tooth pain, or a TIA, or an infected boil, or a migraine which "caused her" to reach for a bottle are not saying it's okay to drink and drive, but imo are still offering mitigating circumstances which explain her actions more sympathetically than b)willful desire to get high or c)deliberate suicide/intentional mass murder. I have never seen so much effort put into looking for physical ailments (some of them just so far fetched as to defy all reason) to "explain" why someone would get drunk before driving with any other drunk driving fatality before or since. People get drunk every single day at all times of the day and night and kill people for any number of reasons. The fact that DS was a mother, successful at her job, or whatever does not set her apart from any other person who makes a fateful decision to drink and drive. Every one of those people had reasons for their choices, but rarely do we see such a massive effort to find reasons which would impart sympathy or pity rather than disgust.
     
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  12. Chewy

    Chewy Well-Known Member

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    APPLAUSE! Nrdsb4

    I'll share a little of my own experience with drinking and driving. My uncle was killed by a drunk driver. Because of the circumstances surrounding his death, (he ran across a busy roadway with his fiance and was basically jay walking) I've never really blamed the woman who killed him.

    He was thrown so forcefully that his face ripped off and my mother and family had to decide whether to turn off life support. However I always remained at a distance from the whole thing.

    That's obviously going to be a very different reaction than the people involved in this case.

    But honestly, one of my initial reactions towards the woman who killed him was one of such pity it sometimes surprises me. She was driving drunk, way drunk, but he had, after all, ran in front of her car. And she had simply done a stupid thing that anyone could have done. My uncle's fiance told us later that the woman didn't have her lights on. And the police reports showed the same thing. She had forgotten to turn on her lights and by some perfect storm of disaster, my uncle ran in front of the car.

    That "perfect storm" is why I have been able to level full forgiveness towards the woman. I seriously worry for her at times, wondering what it must be like to have such a stupid mistake, that bad mix of destiny that would cause her to take a person's life. How in the world can she live with that?

    However, if I started hearing a band of deniers come out, trying to blame it on the fault of the car manufacturer, or some ailment, or blame my uncle for running out etc, my sympathy would vanish pretty quickly.

    It's not ok to not just say the truth. Accidents happen. Mistakes happen. That's what life is full of. But what buoys us through the hard times is an undercurrent of human dignity that is humbled by such revelations.

    Those that posture against them corrupt that compassion and forgiveness. They make it vulgar and profane rather than sacred. There's a dignity attached to forgiveness and understanding. And refusing to accept the truth is something that attacks that dignity and creates an eruption of anger and resentment instead.
     
  13. CCmakes3

    CCmakes3 Active Member

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    I have always thought this to be the most likely scenario. She woke up impaired enough to believe that she would be better off driving drunk than with a hang over.

    I have also wondered if Daniel is so entrenched in denial because Diane woke up feeling horrible and asked HIM to drive the kids home, and he refused. (If I woke up drunk, hungover, or in any way feeling like crap, my FIRST thought would be that my husband could/would/SHOULD help me out by taking the kids, especially if he had nothing else to do that day). Perhaps she asked him and he said no. This pissed her off so she drank/smoked even more. I wouldnt be stupid or selfish enough to drive drunk with a car full of kids, but I can definitely see myself being in a RAGE if my husband refused to help me out in that situation. I'm willing to bet that their goodbye that morning wasn't as routine and uneventful as Daniel would have us believe.
     
  14. nrdsb4

    nrdsb4 Well-Known Member

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    When it comes to the concepts of "wrong" or "responsible" or "guilt," most people view these things on a continuum. For example, at 0, we have person who has done nothing wrong at all and cannot be blamed. Perhaps at 4, we have someone who has a horrific toothache or migraine who felt they MUST seek relief, and the only thing available is vodka and weed. At 7, we have a woman who has gotten incredibly pissed at her husband and her circumstances and decides to take the edge of with some vodka and pot, figuring she'l handle it and get everyone home safe. At 9, we have someone who, do to repressed rage, a horrific catalyst such as infidelity or feeling betrayed by a brother embracing a mother viewed as unworthy, or some other emotional trauma, committing suicide in order to end it all, willfully and knowingly taking 7 innocents with her. Perhaps at 10 on the scale would be taking her kids and nieces on a camping trip and slitting their throats while sober and filled with calm resolve. The epitome of evil and all agree could be the worst the human experience can deliver.

    As far as DS is concerned, on the far left of the continuum, we have 0; meaning that Diane has Zero culpability or responsibility for what happened. Those who insist that she could have had a STROKE (which inexplicably nevertheless resulted in a positive drug and alcohol screen on two different tests) which caused her physical symptoms have put DS's "wrong" as ZERO on the continuum. And Nova, there are those who have postulated this possibility, as well as the McDonald's one, which, contrary to your all caps declaration, does mean that there are some who are looking for a reason to exonerate her. Who would disagree that someone who has a STROKE while driving cannot possibly be held responsible for any accident which happens as a result? Also at 0 are those who surmised that perhaps a McDonald's employee spiked her orange juice. This would certainly put her at 0, as if she had been slipped drugs/alcohol in her juice or food, we cannot blame her for that, can we?

    We have those who look for some other physical condition which would cause DS to desperately guzzle vodka and smoke weed. Now, this doesn't absolve her completely, but it does put her more on the sympathetic end of the continuum when compared with the other examples I listed at 7, 9, and 10. And people really, really want to put her on the more sympathetic side, witnessed by the many who have actually given credence to the toothache theory, the gestational diabetes (two years after giving birth) theory, the migraine theory, and even the more far-fetched theories such as high blood alcohol content due to "charring" caused by the accident.

    People really want to give DS the benefit of the doubt, which is simply so very different from most other DUI accidents, even those which involve mothers, intelligent and accomplished professionals, or others who weren't known to be obvious bad people or drunks. I find this to be notable.

    The most logical reason for DS drinking and smoking herself to oblivion is something do with with her marriage, her emotions, despair, pressures of carrying way more than her share, her soon to be damaged reputation for being "perfect," etc., which are typically the same reasons ANYONE does such a thing. Looking for a physical ailment which explains her actions makes about as much sense as taking a 2.5 hour detour to take 3 kids to Long Island. Why look for such a circuitous route to explaining this, rather than the ones which are plain as the noses on our face; that have NOTHING to do with a stroke or a toothache or a miraculous coincidence of identically wrong drug screens performed by separate labs, or my favorite, no alcohol consumption at all but the high temperature of the fiery crash charring her flesh and causing her blood to produce high levels of alcohol in her blood, urine, and vitreous humor?

    We don't know specifically what set her off, but it probably has much more to do with her being a fallible human being than any other extremely unlikely physical ailment. I get that people are curious whether it was the discovery of infidelity, a fight with Daniel, or suicide; I am as curious as the next person. But I always go back to Occam's Razor, that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one, and the words of Dr. Spitz, Daniel's independently hired coroner consult:

    "the question of the alcohol will always prevail."
     
  15. AzPistonsGirl

    AzPistonsGirl Well-Known Member

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    This is such a beautifully written post with a simple and beautiful sentiment. So nice to read this here and now. Thank you for sharing your story and the rest.
     
  16. hot cawfee

    hot cawfee Well-Known Member

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    Funny thing with a toothache-----I'd think most would go for ice-pack or Anbesol.
    Not grab booze or pills----just occurred to me as I am reading all comments
     
  17. hot cawfee

    hot cawfee Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Chewy--- beautifully said.
     
  18. BuzzieCat

    BuzzieCat Member

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    Yes, this exactly. Even if she did have pain caused by something that was missed on the autopsy - which I doubt - most people's reaction would not be to drown it with alcohol. Most people who are either teetotalers or who drink very rarely would not suddenly turn to alcohol at the first sign of pain. Anyone who starts chugging vodka for pain is almost certainly an alcoholic.
     
  19. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    Actually and IIRC, there was the report of her walking out in the middle of root canal surgery and never returning to the doctor/oral surgeon. Depending on where they were in the process, the nerve of the tooth may well have been exposed: an extremely painful condition.

    I've had two abscesses that were so bad, they immediately yanked the tooth, rather than even trying to treat the problem. And I did say above that I would have done almost anything to get relief.

    But I did not self-medicate with alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car. I was merely saying I could believe that someone might.

    There is no excuse, IMO, for getting that drunk and then driving, especially not with kids in the car.
     
  20. CCmakes3

    CCmakes3 Active Member

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    Agreed. The drinking and smoking was a big "F-you" to somebody, either Daniel or her brother or both. I don't think she meant to kill herself and the kids, but I think when she woke up with a hangover and realized she had to have her nieces home by a specific time and Danny wasn't going to help her, she was pissed off at everyone and was going to "show them" by turning up drunk to drop the girls off.
     
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