Two years after her three children perished in a car accident at the hands of her drunken sister-in-law, Jackie Hance is looking forward to having her baby and beginning a new life.
On July 26, 2009, Jackie Hance woke up to a day that would change her life forever. Her three daughters, Emma, 8, Alyson, 7, and Katie, 5, were on their way home from a weekend camping trip in upstate New York when the driver — Jackie’s sister-in-law Diane Schuler — drove drunk on the wrong side of New York’s Taconic Parkway and slammed into an oncoming SUV killing herself, her daughter Erin, 2, and Jackie’s three daughters — as well as the three passengers in the colliding car.
“Emma…called us from the car and said, ‘something is wrong with Aunt Diane.’ I heard other children crying in the background and then the phone cut out,” the Long Island mother tells Ladies Home Journal.
It was revealed that Diane’s blood alcohol limit was twice the legal limit at the time of the accident and she had apparently smoked marijuana beforehand. Days after the accident, Jackie and her husband Warren‘s daughters were buried next to Diane and her daughter, Erin.
“I’d wake up thinking it was that Sunday again and that the girls were heading home. And every day, my husband or one of my friends would have to tell me the awful news all over again,” Jackie recalls. Though now, at the suggestion of friends and family, Jackie and her husband Warren are planning to have another child.
“We had just paid for three funerals and a beautiful burial plot…I didn’t know how I could afford [another pregnancy].” The mother-of-three had also had a tubal ligation after the birth of Katie, preventing eggs from reaching her uterus for fertilization. “But…I slowly began to investigate in-vitro fertilization.”
Soon after the incident, a doctor who had been following her story contacted her and offered to do the procedure, which consisted of two rounds of drug injections and egg retrieval. After the very first procedure, Jackie learned she was pregnant.
“Every day, all I want is to be reunited with my girls again in heaven. But Emma, Alyson, and Katie have other plans for me right now.” The hopeful mother is due in the fall. Such wonderful news for her!
The Taconic State Parkway crash has been documented in There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane, a reexamination of the case that will air on HBO on July 25, the two year anniversary of the wreck.
– Michael Emer
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