Mom Who Lost 3 Daughters In Taconic Crash Suing Diane Schuler's Estate: My Little Girls Died In Terror!

Wed, July 27, 2011 10:46am EST by 14 Comments

Jackie Hance has filed a lawsuit against the estate of her sister-in-law, saying her three daughters knew they were going to die when a drunk Diane drove the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway on July 26 2009.

What a shame. First Diane Schuler‘s husband Daniel Schuler sues his brother-in-law Warren Hance and New York State, and now we learn that Warren’s wife Jackie Hance filed a lawsuit against the Schuler estate last week, for the “extreme horror” her three daughters, Emma, 8, Alyson, 7, and Kate, 5, suffered before the crash that killed them.

All this coincides with the two-year anniversary of that devastating day and the July 25 release of the HBO Documentary, There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane, based on the crash.

The New York Post reports that according to Jackie Hance‘s suit, her daughters, “suffered . . . terror, fear of impending death, extreme horror, fright, [and] mental anguish.” During those final moments, Emma Hance made a desperate phone call to her father, telling him: “There’s something wrong with Aunt Diane,” heartbreaking words that became the title of a film the Hances never wanted made.

The family’s lawyer, Kenneth Pryor, wouldn’t say how much money Jackie and Warren, who are expecting their fourth child, were seeking, but noted to the Post that the suit was filed in state Supreme Court in Suffolk because lower courts limit awards to $25,000.

A terrible tragedy that seems to be never-ending. We hope this family can come to terms with their grief and realize that all this back and forth won’t get them anywhere in the end — or bring back their loved ones.

–Leigh Blickley

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Posted at 5:34 AM on October 1, 2014  

Daniel Schuler is a liar and a despicable person. For him and his sister-in-law to claim that something “medically” had to have happened to Diane is ridiculous! Get over it you two and accept the fact that Diane did like her vodka and smoked pot every day according to reports. Daniel also lied about what day he went to the campsite. When you lie, everybody knows you are hiding something. I think you should be investigated and thrown in jail because you had to have known your wife was drinking and you did know she smoked pot more than “every once in a while”. That HBO documentary made you and your SIL look ignorant. Are you two seriously trying to make we the people buy your asinine story? You have greatly underestimated the intelligence of the people who have followed this story. We aren’t stupid so quit being in denial and join reality. Diane was very drunk and very high when she killed all of those innocent people. She was seen on the side of the road a couple of times and at a rest stop bending over like she was sick. That’s called a hangover and I guess she decided to administer “the hair of the dog” and got even drunker. And the reason she drank screwdrivers is that the vodka doesn’t smell really strong on your breath because it is mixed with something else. If she wanted to hide her drinking, that would be the way to do it. Seriously, if you both think she’s innocent and wasn’t drunk and high and that an abscessed tooth caused a stroke, then you both need immediate psychological help because the autopsy reports on Diane stated that she was in good health and her brain had no type of damage.

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Posted at 12:14 PM on May 29, 2013  

The obvious thing nobody seems to be mentioning is this is a perfect example of how women need to speak out if they don’t feel good instead of trying to be the perfect person that can do everything. Imagine if she had just told someone “I cannot drive the kids back home today because I have such a bad toothache I cannot even concentrate and I need help”. Perhaps everyone would be alive today. A toothache can be one of the most excruciatingly types of pain experienced and I wonder if that’s why she drank but I think I would’ve let someone else take them OR find a store that sold ibuprofen or something. Very sad and so unnecessary. I still cannot believe her husband had the nerve to sue others when his wife was clearly at fault. He needs to say “I am sorry” and move on.

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Sandra Smith

Posted at 5:07 PM on March 28, 2012  

Diane Schuler was in a big time black out. If you pay attention to the witnesses, it will certainly explain how and why she was sick and going the wrong way. She probably started drinking on her empty stomach at the Mac Donalds, and it went down hill from there.. She probably also smoked some pot along the way since the high content of THC. What a tragic situation. Nobody wins

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Posted at 9:24 PM on December 9, 2011  

I watched the documentary last night. All I could think was how unfortunate for everyone involved. It doesn’t seem that Diane was a habitual drunk according to her relatives. I don’t think they were lying. What does it really matter. Look how hurt so many people were. If only Diane had waited for her brother to come get her. If only….

Seems the sister-in-law wanted answers, and wanted to be sure that Diane was drunk. It was all so unthinkable.

I think the father saying he didn’t want children in the 1st place in a statement out of grief. It is so easy to judge others. Instead of condemming them, let your heart open to the people that survived and have to go on.

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Posted at 8:26 PM on September 9, 2011  

This aunt had some issues, it is possible that her husband could have been aware of these issues. Where was he when the accident occured? I know he mentions driving up early but when they left to return was he in front or behind his wife to see this accident unfold? Unfortunately, he may not like the toxicology report but the sample was verified twice by different specialist to be his wifes dna. I am wondering how his wife got this drunk & he was present & says he didn’t see anything. Twice the legal limit isn’t a small amount of alcohol.

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Posted at 7:15 PM on July 30, 2011  

Julia0004 was right on the money. They have stayed out of it and it is the husband who keeps igniting the fire here. So they are supposed to sit back and accept being sued by the husband of the woman who is directly responsible for the death of all of their children?!? The husbands lawsuit is quite possibly one of the most absurd things I have ever heard. I had some sympathy for him prior to hearing about his lawsuit, but he is the one making things harder and worse for himself, inaddition to trying to profit off of the death of his wife, daughter, nieces, and 3 additional innocent victims. This incident was a tragedy, but his actions in response are despicable.

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Posted at 3:40 AM on July 29, 2011  

no matter what anyone on here says,it won’t change the fact
that this was a terrible tragedy. there is no right or wrong way to grieve. i just hope that 1 day,this family can
come together and share their pain.don’t forget that not
only did this couple lose 3 beautiful little girls,but Daniel also lost a beautiful little girl.and let us not forget the men in the SUV.and don’t forget the little boy who will never again see his mommy,sister or cousins again.
his family will never again be the same.
and i agree that no amount of money will ease their pain.
and i hope they find peace and joy again someday.
i just get so upset when people like julia0004 & cfrs make such insane comments.

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Posted at 10:36 PM on July 30, 2011  

Don’t forget that Daniel lost a beautiful little girl too? Did you watch the documentary? Daniel Schuler is pissed because he NEVER WANTED kids to begin w/ and now he is stuck raising his surviving son!

I am very disappointed in hollybaby for this ridiculous article! Everyone should do some serious research before commenting. Daniel Schuler is trying to sue anyone and everyone he can. He is suing the state of NY for improper road design and not enough signs to warn of going the wrong way. He’s suing the Bastardi family claiming they were responsible for the accident and that their vehicle was faulty. He’s suing Warren Hance trying to say his van was faulty and caused the wreck. He and his sister-in-law Jay have thrown out every ridiculous reason they can find to remove blame from Diane just to see what sticks. None of it is sticking!

Diane Schuler was drunk and high. There are NO questions to that. The tests weren’t mixed up. The ME didn’t change things to set Diane up. The private investigator that Daniel Schuler hired had the samples retested against Diane’s DNA. The samples ARE from Diane and they ARE correct!

Daniel Schuler’s original attorney, Dominic Barbara has lost his license to practice law. This new attorney needs to have the same done to him for filing such ridiculous BS!

The Hance family is being sued by Daniel Schuler, the Bastardi family, and the Longo family. They are in fear of losing what little they have left. They have tried to grieve in private and no one is allowing them to do that! I applaud them for suing Daniel Schuler.

A lawsuit has also been filed by the 2 surviving victims in the 3rd SUV. You hardly ever see anything mentioned about the 3rd vehicle or those victims.

I can’t imagine what the Hance’s are going through. This case haunts me and I have no connection. My thoughts and prayers are w/ them.

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Posted at 11:12 PM on July 30, 2011  

Daniel Schuler also needs to fess up to where he was that Thursday night and what he was doing. He told everyone that he went to the campsite Thursday to set up. Ezpass records prove he didn’t go through the toll until 6:29am Friday morning. Diane is dead, why lie to LE about that?

Did HE do something to push her over the edge?

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Posted at 3:00 PM on August 10, 2011  

He’s only suing because Diane used to bring in a six figure salary and he makes $40K a year and thinks he needs more money. It’s really sick. He’s a bad person and a liar.

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Posted at 12:52 PM on July 28, 2011  

My heart breaks at the plight of this beautiful family. I can only say prayers that they find comfort in life and that they can one day feel joy again. I just pray for the parents…may God grant them peace in their minds, hearts and days.

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Posted at 10:25 PM on July 27, 2011  

I find this to be an asinine statement, “We hope this family can come to terms with their grief and realize that all this back and forth won’t get them anywhere in the end —or bring back their loved ones.” The only that appears to be going back and forth is Daniel and the bleached blond in the “documentary.” It was pathetic that they just can’t accept her being a drunk and drug abuser. I think the parents who lost three daughters have the RIGHT to speak when they want to. The only reason it appears that they brought their lawsuit is due to Daniel’s lawsuit against the husband. I can’t believe you would even “hint,” at condemning them. Daniel is the one who can’t let it go and so far is the only one who has profited…$100,000.00 to exhume his wife’s body?! Anyone who wouldn’t bring a counter-suit is an idiot! These parents know Daniel is trying to profit and I say, good for them. They are fighting fire with fire.

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Posted at 8:52 AM on July 29, 2011  

I agree with you, Daniel deserves to be sued. He said he wanted to clear his wife’s name so he sued his grieving in-laws. What I don’t understand is how he plans to do this since to be able to clear someone’s name requires said person to be innocent and his wife couldn’t be guiltier. If I were in his shoes, I would stay put, and not placing the blame on innocent people whose whole life have just destroyed by his irresponsible wife. In my opinion most people are disgusted by his actions because he attacked this family when they were the most vulnerable. So stop hurting the Hances and accept the fact that the only guilty party in the accident is your wife (and maybe you for not realizing her addictions and let her drive with those innocent children in the car.)

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Posted at 3:17 PM on July 27, 2011  

Hurt the guilty in the pocketbook. I still say all law suites are for money only, no matter what the reason. To get rich off of tragedy is despicable and a disgrace.

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