Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Alcohol and Phone-Call Details in Wrong-Way Crash

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:06 AM
Original message
Alcohol and Phone-Call Details in Wrong-Way Crash
By AL BAKER and SERGE F. KOVALESKI - Published: August 7, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/08/nyregion/08crash.html...

The husband of the intoxicated woman who killed herself and seven others after driving the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway said Friday that they carried the same bottle of vodka every weekend between their home and a campground during the summer.
...
Mr. Ruskin said on Friday that phone records showed that four calls were logged on Ms. Schulers cellphone in the last hours of her life two incoming calls and two outgoing ones.

He said that Ms. Schuler called her brother, Warren Hance, at 11:37 a.m., to say that she was in traffic, running a bit late, but that her nieces would be home in time for a scheduled performance rehearsal. At 12:08 p.m., Ms. Schuler received a call, but it is not yet known who made the call, Mr. Ruskin said.

Emma Hance called her father at 12:58 p.m. and said, Daddy, there is something wrong with Aunt Diane and she is having trouble seeing and she is talking funny, she is slurring, Mr. Ruskin said. That call was dropped after three minutes and Mr. Hance called back at 1:01 p.m., in a conversation that lasted nine minutes.
<snip>

It is looking more like murder-suicide by automobile.

The second call at 12:08 will be key. It may well have been what set her to drinking and then committing murder-suicide.

It's likely that she took the cell phone away from the 8-year old and threw it out the window, which accounts for it's being "abandoned" near the east end of the Tappan Zee bridge.

The crash at 1:35 was on the Taconic in Briarcliff, which is north of there and not on the way to Long Island, since she came across the Tappan Zee on her way from Sullivan County to Long Island.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. I don't see how you get from the article that she wanted to die. NT
NT
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Angry about being discovered drinking sounds possible but nothing more
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Knowing the Taconic as well as I do, I believe it had to be suicide. On an early
Sunday afternoon there is enough traffic for her to have seen that she was going in the wrong direction, and enough areas on the side of the road to comfortably pull into and turn herself around. Yet she drove on that road of almost 2 miles before crashing. No matter how drunk she might have been, I cannot see her driving that long at that time of day and not correct herself, unless she intended to do what she did.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. There are several factors
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 11:46 AM by FarCenter
- drinking to a blood alcohol level of 0.19% is not social drinking. And she had more in her stomach according to other reports.

- if the cell phone had aslo been used by the 8-year old to talk to her father, the chances are that it was discarded, rather than abandoned.

- you have to deliberately drive north instead of staying on the main I-287 or I-87 routes from the Tappan Zee towards Long Island to get to the crash scene about a half hour later.

- other cars on the Taconic had swerved out of her way. Yet she hit the Trail Blazer head on. Pretty squarely too, also from other pictures.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
3. What's not clear to me is who called 911 and when. Did
multiple police agencies blow off calls about a someone acting erratically and a brother calling to say his sister was ill somewhere between points A and B?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. There is no evidence anyone called prior to the accident at this time..
all calls are recorded at the County 911 centers. Calling a State Police or County Police Barracks outside 911 for an emergency is extremely unlikely and uncommon.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. It seems that other drivers called from the Taconic
There are conflicting reports as to whether drivers on 17 and I87 called Orange County or Rockland County 911. There apparently are eyewitness reports of her driving erratically on those roads leading from Sullivan County to the bridge. However, the reports of drivers on the Taconic calling 911 seem concrete.


From http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local-beat/Taconic-Drive...

Diane Schuler, a 36-year-old executive with Cablevision, was driving south in the northbound lanes of the Taconic for two miles as motorists sought in vain to get her attention; six drivers called 911 before the collision with the SUV.

State police, who have been retracing her route, said that witnesses reported seeing her red Ford mini-van on both state Routes 17 and 87. They said the van was straddling two lanes, tailgating, flashing its headlights and beeping the horn.

Others saw the vehicle veering from one lane to another and one witness said it appeared as if she was attempting to pass him on the shoulder of the highway. Another witness said the van drove across a grass divider at the Ramapo service area on Route 87.

State police said while they can't be absolutely certain the driver was Schuler, the description of the vehicle and occupants and the time the incidents were reported "lead them to believe they are one in the same."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ima_sinnic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
5. why would anyone carry "the same bottle of vodka every weekend betw their home and a campground"?
was it in the car only on weekends? did they go to a campground "every" friggin weekend?
or was it simply always in the car? was it full or empty?
more importantly, why carry a bottle of any kind of booze in your car if not to drink?
this makes no sense at all and sounds absolutely lame.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. That bottle
would be especially accessible to kids, especially teenagers in a campground who always knew about Aunt Diane's bottle.

I was willing to give the husband the benefit of the doubt (my ex was quite the closet drinker, didn't really know the full extent of the problem until she moved out and I found cleverly hidden empty bottles) but since he's admitted that there was always a bottle of vodka in the car, he's starting to look like someone who only wants to cover his ass.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. And once you broke the seal, you can't just carry it in a van
Unless it is in a locked compartment. In which case it likely wouldn't be under a seat.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
uncle ray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. in a van you put it in the rearmost part and you won't get hassled.
as long as you have not been drinking and the bottle isn't within reach of the driver, the open bottle isn't a problem.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TorchTheWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. read the article
Tom Ruskin, an investigator who is working for the husband, Daniel Schuler, said that Mr. Schuler occasionally drank vodka and that his wife, Diane, was so frugal that she packed the same bottle of Absolut in a bag meant for trips between the familys home in Suffolk County, on Long Island, and the camper in the Sullivan County campground they had frequented for the past three years. He said a single bottle could last a year for the Schulers.

But Mr. Ruskin said Mr. Schuler did not see the bottle that day, and was not sure whether his wife had packed the bottle in the bags he loaded into the minivan that Ms. Schuler drove from the campground. He did not pack it, he did not see it, Mr. Ruskin said. As far as he knows, it is still in the camper, but I havent been up there and none of the investigative staff has checked it out as of yet.


He's trying to make it appear that his wife was a very sparse drinker and he had no idea whether or not alcohol was in the car or not even though he also says that they always had that vodka bottle in the car on their camping trips and even though he knows that a bottle of vodka was found under the seat of the car. Looks like standard ass covering to me.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
GCP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
10. Sounds very similar to a case in Massachusetts last year on I 495
http://wbztv.com/local/route.495.crash.2.633211.html

The woman was carrying her niece and nephew, crossed the median and drove into oncoming traffic. It was deemed suicide.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Apr 16th 2014, 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC