No Charges Against Taconic Crash Husband: Prosecutor

Cops, Westchester DA met on crash that killed eight

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Lawyers have said it would be difficult to provide Daniel Schuler knew his wife was intoxicated and failed to stop her from getting in the car and driving off with a vanload of kids.

    There will be no criminal charges filed against the husband of the woman who killed herself, her daughter, three nieces and three men in an SUV in a drunken wrong-way crash, the lead prosecutor announced today.

    Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore said "Diane Schuler died in the accident and the charges died with her."

    Could Daniel Schuler Be Responsible For His Wife's Actions?

    [NY] Could Daniel Schuler Be Responsible For His Wife's Actions?
    Police are investigating whether or not Daniel Schuler, husband of Diane Schuler, is partly responsible for that tragic accident on the Taconic. (Published Friday, Aug 7, 2009)

    Earlier,  Sullivan County District Attorney Stephen Lungen, whose jurisdiction includes the campground where Diane Schuler's July 26 trip began, said, "Everything we know of so far indicates that when she left Sullivan County she was sober.''
        
    Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore, the lead prosecutor, met Tuesday with state police investigators and some victims' relatives. She is expected to hold a  news conference announcing the decision this afternoon.
        
    An autopsy found that Schuler, 36, was drunk and high on marijuana four hours after leaving the campground when she drove the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway in Westchester and slammed her minivan into an SUV.
        
    The crash killed Schuler, her 2-year-old daughter, three young nieces and three men in the SUV. The Schulers' 5-year-old son survived.
        
    To sustain a charge against Schuler's husband, Daniel, a prosecutor would have to prove that he knew his wife was intoxicated and failed to stop her before they left the campground in separate vehicles.
        
    "There would have to be some evidence presented to me that directly links the husband to the condition of his wife or with knowledge of the condition of his wife when she left with the children,'' Lungen said.
        
    Daniel Schuler, of West Babylon, submitted to an hour-long interview with state police on Friday. He has insisted publicly that the crash could not have been caused by drinking or drugs, and his lawyer has suggested other causes ranging from diabetes to pain relievers.
        
    Police have said Diane Schuler showed no signs of drunkenness when she stopped at a McDonald's about three hours before the crash. A private investigator working for Daniel Schuler said she was still sober during a stop at a convenience store a few minutes later.
        
    But her brother said she called him, disoriented, half an hour before the crash. A vodka bottle was found in the wreck.
        
    Even if he's not criminally charged, Daniel Schuler could find himself in court if families of the victims -- including his brother-in-law's family -- bring lawsuits against him. Irving Anolik, spokesman for the family of a father and son killed in the SUV, said they have hired a law firm to explore the possibility.
        
    The Schulers' 5-year-old son, who suffered serious head injuries in the crash, is undergoing rehabilitation at a hospital in Queens.