According to the final New York State Police report, issued last month, Diane Schuler was speeding at a whopping 85 miles per hour in last July’s fatal car crash on the Taconic Parkway in which 8 people died. The fiery crash occurred on July 26, 2009, when Ms. Schuler, traveling with her three nieces and two children, was driving southbound in the northbound lanes of the Taconic Parkway with a blood alcohol content of .19 (more than twice the legal limit) and high on marijuana. Everyone was killed in the Schuler vehicle with the exception of her then 5 year old son Bryan, and all three occupants of the vehicle driven by Guy Bastardi, which was traveling northbound in the left lane, were also killed.
Daniel Schuler, the husband of Diane Schuler, claimed last year that his wife must have had an illness or medical problem which caused her to drive so recklessly on the wrong side of the parkway. There was talk of exhuming Ms. Schuler’s body to conduct a separate autopsy to potentially rebut the findings of the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office, but to date there has been no evidence to refute the Westchester Coroner’s findings that Schuler was high and intoxicated at the time of the accident.
Understandably, the Bastardi family has commenced litigation against the Estate of Diane Schuler for the deaths of 81 year old Michael Bastardi, Sr. and his 49 year old son, Guy Bastardi, who was behind the wheel when the tragic accident occurred. The lawsuit is pending.
When you combine the speed of the Schuler vehicle at 85 m.p.h with the alleged speed of the Bastardi vehicle at 74 miles per hour, the vehicles were approaching each other at 233 feet per second–(Total of 159 miles per hour X 1.466 feet per second= 233 feet per second). Thus, there is no question that Guy Bastardi had no time to react or take evasive action from the Schuler vehicle. The only real question in this lawsuit is how much automobile insurance or umbrella insurance coverage the Schuler family had in effect on the date of the accident to compensate the Bastardi family. To date, we are not aware whether the family of the late Daniel Longo, also in the Bastardi vehicle, intends to commence legal action against Schuler’s estate.
If you or a loved one is seriously injured in a car crash, construction accident, slip and fall accident, or is the victim of an animal attack or a defective product, contact the Westchester County Injury Attorneys at the Law Office Of Mark A. Siesel online or toll free at 888-761-7633 for a free consultation with an experienced, aggressive trial lawyer who will fight the insurance companies to maximum compensation for your injuries and lost earnings.