MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – The husband of Diane Schuler, the woman who killed eight people including herself in the horrific wrong way Taconic State Parkway accident in 2009, is suing the State of New York and Warren Hance, according to published reports.
Daniel Schuler believes that the State of New York should be held responsible for not keeping the road safe and failing to provide signs to warn against driving the wrong way. Hance, the brother-in-law of Schuler and father of three young children who were lost in the accident, was the owner of the car driven by Diane Schuler and also faces liability claims.
Thomas Ruskin, the president of CMP Protective and Investigative Group, was hired as a private investigator by Daniel Schuler in 2009 to uncover answers behind his wife's senseless actions that day.
"He told us he really wanted to know the results truthfully," Ruskin said. "He told us, 'That's not the girl that I've known for 13 years and been married to for nine.'"
In July 2009, Diane Schuler drove a minivan owned by Hance that was filled with her two children and Hance's three daughters the wrong way of the Taconic State Parkway. Schuler drove for just under two miles before crashing head on with another vehicle that contained three occupants. The lone survivor of the crash was Schuler's son, Bryan, 5. Toxicology reports later determined that Schuler had a blood alcohol level of .19 at the time of accident, twice the legal limit, and that she was under the influence of marijuana.
Ruskin said that the investigation concluded that Diane did not live a secret life that included alcohol and drug abuse. However, he advised Daniel against a lawsuit and feels that placing the blame on outside parties does not uncover any form of justice.
"At the end of 2009 I told them that that's not what they wanted to do, I was very loud and vocal about my opinion," Ruskin said. "It defies common logic and it doesn't at all lend itself to the need to find the answers, it lends itself to different conclusions."
Melissa Slater, assistant to the regional director of the New York State Department of Transportation, said she was unaware of the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon and was unavailable to comment without consulting the state's legal department.
Calls made to Schuler's lawyer, Kevin Greenan, were not returned.