Talk:2009 Taconic State Parkway crash

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A hunch[edit]

I'm wondering if she was sober in the morning but suffering a hangover. That would explain why she sought pain-killers, and was smoking large amounts of weed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AVKent882 (talkcontribs) 03:42, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Good point. But, didn't the autopsy conclude that the alcohol consumption was recent (that is, just before her death)? I thought the autopsy indicated that the alcohol consumption was so recent that the alcohol was still in her stomach and had not yet even entered her blood stream. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:01, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Contesting speedy deletion[edit]

this is an important and developing current event. this event happened on july 26, 2009 and considered the worse accident on this particular highway. the event has significant meaning because of the number of poeple killed, most of them children. the person in question, has been identified by the media as the cause of the accident, but circumstances are murky and not yet fully developed and will develop over time.

people who are interested in searching wiki for crashes, drunk driving, possible "murder suicide?", and/or "marital problems?" may be interested in the events that happened this day. but at the moment, the story is still developing.

this page can be renamed taconic state parkway crash, or something, but there is no consensus in the media as to what to name this accident. for the time being, I have named the page after the person who is the central figure in the accident. Lucky dog (talk) 04:32, 8 August 2009 (UTC)


In regard to my recent edit:

  • I think it's confusing when the article describes both Schuler parents leaving the campground with "their" children and nieces, and that saying she left with the kids and he left at the same time in his own vehicle is clearer and no less accurate.
  • I removed some details that seemed irrelevant to the accident (fishing, the family dog, the brands of pain relievers, etc.)
  • I think mentioning the pull-off area provides better information to the reader than just saying that Emma Hance saw the signs, since unless you're intimately familiar with the area, that's not going to mean anything to you, while saying she was probably stopped at the pull-off area tells you something about what was happening.
  • Unless anyone's claiming that Warren Hance could have known about the accident five minutes after it happened when he made that call, the "reportedly" there seems unnecessary.
  • I revised the last paragraph in an attempt to be more clear (and "mentioned" that his wife drank and smoked pot seemed a pretty weak verb, after he was all over the news claiming that his wife hardly ever drank and never did drugs). Propaniac (talk) 16:24, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Which high school?[edit]

the ny times topics says she went to Sewanhaka High School

but somebody edited the article to say that she went to floral park high school citing a yearbook photo they saw in the news.

need clarification on this

Lucky dog (talk) 03:32, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

The NYT link appears to be a reliable source, while an editor claiming they saw something on the news is not a reliable source. It therefore seems clear that the article should state she attended Sewanhaka. It's entirely possible that the Floral Park report is accurate and that she attended more than one high school (or that the NYT made a mistake and she never actually attended Sewanhaka), but without a reliable source that claims that she attended Floral Park or that she didn't attend Sewanhaka, we should go by the best sources we have available. Propaniac (talk) 12:31, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Bear Mountain Bridge[edit]

Shouldn't all references in this article to the Tappan Zee Bridge be stated instead in re: The Bear Mountain Bridge? (Donnlane (talk) 00:10, 1 September 2009 (UTC))

Why do you say that? These are two completely different bridges ... are they not (as opposed to two different names for the same bridge)? I believe that the sources I've seen indicated Tappan Zee, not Bear Mountain, as the bridge in question. Are you saying that the events mentioned in this article transpired on the Bear Mountain Bridge and not the Tappan Zee? Do you have sources for this? Thanks. (Joseph A. Spadaro, 1 September 2009)
Please allow me to re-state. Initial news reports stated that Diane Schuler crossed the Bear Mountain Bridge after she first left the campground. I did not find any references to Bear Mountain Bridge in the Wikipedia article. It makes a difference if in fact she crossed two heavily congested bridges in upstate New York before her accident without anyone on the bridges noticing her erratic driving. Donnlane (talk) 04:51, 3 September 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I too found no reference to Bear Mountain Bridge in this Wikipedia article. What route do you have in mind if you mention "two heavily congested bridges"? Further down on this talk page, I ask a question about how Diane Schuler got to Briarcliff Manor (from which she headed south in Taconic Parkway's N-bound lanes). I have also driven on the Bear Mountain Bridge myself; it carries U.S. 6 & 202 across the Hudson and it's further N than Tappan Zee Bridge. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:36, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Removed broken link & text:

* [ Wrong-way turn onto Taconic puzzles many] Video of driving condition, and signage at the Pleasantville Rd exit of the Taconic (The Journal News).

The external site moved this to a pay link --,+2009 Atcack (talk) 00:49, 3 September 2009 (UTC)


I'm open to revising the article, including significantly shortening it now that new details aren't coming out every day and it's easier to summarize the most notable things. I agree the article should be shortened. But I don't think it's fair to make such drastic cuts in the middle of the AFD discussion, especially when those cuts lower the list of cited sources from 22 to 3 and cut out virtually everything except to summarize the collision itself and not the ensuing arguments about whether, and how, Schuler became so intoxicated and so reckless.

I will leave a note in the AFD discussion explaining the two versions. (User:Mandsford should have done so himself when he made the move and completely changed the article, but he did not.) Propaniac (talk) 23:06, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Title of article[edit]

This article is really more about the car crash / incident than it is about the individual named Diane Schuler herself per se. I suggest that the title be changed from "Diane Schuler" to something like "2009 Taconic State Parkway crash" (or something along those lines). Any thoughts on this? Thanks. (Joseph A. Spadaro, 22 August 2009)

I agree. I can't think of any better title than the one you suggested. (By the way, you can sign and timestamp your Talk posts with your Wikipedia username by ending the post with four tildes, i.e. ~~~~. Propaniac (talk) 03:14, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
New title of article: I agree that this article should not be named Diane Schuler, as this is an article about the crash and not a biography of Schuler. However, the current title needs to be tweaked, please. First, we should use the "real" name of the Parkway ... which, I believe, is Taconic State Parkway (adding in the word "State"). Second, we should include some designation (such as the year 2009, for example) since there has not been only one crash on the Taconic State Parkway. Third, the word "crash" should be lower-case, not capitalized, in the title. Therefore, I suggest 2009 Taconic State Parkway crash. Any thoughts? Thank you. (Joseph A. Spadaro, 11 September 2009)

New "Investigation" section[edit]

I've written a first draft of a new "Investigation" section, which is currently at User:Propaniac/schuler, but right now it doesn't have any references so I'm thinking I should hold off on moving it in here until I can go back and add them, which I can't do right now. I'll hopefully be able to get that done tomorrow. Propaniac (talk) 20:05, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Contested intoxication levels[edit]

This heading is misleading. It is only the delusional husband who is 'contesting' the results and they are not based on any actual facts. The facts include the husband stating she drank vodka 2 nights prior, she smoked pot, the sister in law stated she smoked pot. The bottle of vodka was removed from the camper and was in her possession at the time of the crash and her toxicology supported all of this by detecting both vodka and pot in her system. Therefore, the heading implies there is some actual cause to dispute the toxicology. it shouold be titled something like "Husbands Denial of Toxicolgy Results". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gottapeesuzy (talkcontribs) 20:40, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

The intoxication levels are being contested; the content of the section is about the husband's contesting of the intoxication levels. I think the current title is objective and accurate. Propaniac (talk) 20:47, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Are the intoxication levels still being contested by Diane Schuler's family? My understanding is that the re-testing and DNA testing of the samples confirmed the original results and that the samples came from Diane Schuler. So I think re-titling and updating this section is in order. (talk) 20:09, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Is it noteworthy that the private investigator that requested the retesting refused to release the DAN and toxicology report to the family. It took the family a year to be able to re-track down the investigator and at that point he tells them that they were consistent with the original tests. This is covered in the documentary. (talk) 15:20, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
No, it is not. ɱ (talk · vbm · coi) 02:37, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

A few Factual updates[edit]

a few minor fact corrections from the Police reports.

>Her husband Daniel Schuler left the campground at the same time in a separate vehicle, taking a different route to the family's home in West Babylon because his car's commercial license plates prevented him from driving on New York state parkways.

Police interview with Daniel Schuler states on page 11 that “Mr Schuler stated he and his wife usually took the same route home to long island which was rt 17 to interstate 87 to interstate 287 to interstate 95 to the Throgs Neck Bridge”. (the only potential non-commercial parkway on this route would have been Northern State Pky on Long Island however the Long Island Exp parallels this road and they both could have taken it)

>on her hands and knees by the side of the road

Had her hands on her knees not on her hands and knees

>at approximately 1:37 PM

Police report states 13:35 as the time

>with approximately ten drinks in her stomach that had not yet been absorbed into her blood

10 drinks is what they estimate the total consumption to be, the alcohol in her stomach was 6 grams. If 1 fl oz (water) = 29.57g, alcohol is less dense than water, so there would be more fluid oz, but realistically, this is only a tablespoon or so of actual vodka in her stomach.

>the gas station employee whom Schuler asked for Tylenol around 11 AM also said he "[knew] for a fact she wasn't drunk when she came into the station."

pg 14 of the Police report states the clerk at the Sunoco declined to be interviewed

>Diane Schuler's sister-in-law had made a statement to police that Diane Schuler smoked marijuana on a daily basis and had been drinking with her husband on the weekend before the crash

Pg 12 of the Police report states “regularly” not “daily”; Daniel Schuler states they had drinks, not the sister in law (same ref) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gottapeesuzy (talkcontribs) 18:34, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing out these issues. Is this police report available online? If so, could you provide a link? In any case, now that I've gone through each of these matters (as detailed below) it doesn't look like there are any major contradictions between published sources and what you say is in the report; there are just some errors in transcribing the published information into this article. Here's my view on each of the things you brought up:
  • Daniel Schuler's route home: This article says: "Daniel could not follow Diane onto any parkway because his truck has commercial plates." I'm not familiar with any New York highways, so I don't know whether that explanation makes sense or not. But it seems to be a pretty minor detail, so I'm just going to change that sentence to: "Her husband Daniel Schuler left the campground at the same time in a separate vehicle, taking a different route to the family's home in West Babylon." (Although I do wonder if the police report mentions another reason why Daniel didn't take the same route.)
  • Hands/knees: The cited article agrees with you and says she had her hands on her knees; I misread it when I added that bit to the article. I'll correct that sentence.
  • Time of crash: I checked several sources that all agree it was 1:35 PM, not 1:37 PM, so I'll correct that.
  • Alcohol in her stomach: To be honest, when I was working on that part of the article, I found a lot of different articles that seem to be saying different things and none was very clear. There are certainly several that say she had "6 grams of undigested alcohol in her stomach," so I'll go ahead and change it to say that instead of the "ten drinks."
  • The gas station employee: The employee may not have been interviewed by the police, but the quote comes from this article, which says the employee said that to the Daily News, not to police. So I don't see any discrepancy to be fixed here.
  • Sister-in-law: again, this appears to be my mistake and I'll correct it.
Hopefully these corrections will reconcile all the issues you pointed out. I'll try to make these changes in the next few minutes. Propaniac (talk) 21:31, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Daniel Schuler's route home: This article says: "Daniel could not follow Diane onto any parkway because his truck has commercial plates." I'm not familiar with any New York highways, so I don't know whether that explanation makes sense or not. But it seems to be a pretty minor detail, so I'm just going to change that sentence to: "Her husband Daniel Schuler left the campground at the same time in a separate vehicle, taking a different route to the family's home in West Babylon." (Although I do wonder if the police report mentions another reason why Daniel didn't take the same route.)

I beleive this is important since they left at the same time, on the same road, (rt17 to rt87 is the ONLY way out of that area) and he used this excuse as to why he didn't follow her, but the reports of her being sick were on roads he had to take and it was him explaining away why he did not follow her when the real reason is he left her to take 5 kids out to breakfast while he drove home nonstop with the dog and this statement by him is a misrepresentation of the truth to absolve him of guilt since he was already home when the accident occurred. It is a significant aspect of the story, if not directly applicable to this page, since they had to take the same route at least to the point of the phone call where the brother told her to wait as there are no other highways to get you to that point, the seperate route would have been only the last 20 miles or so once they were out on Long Island, so i do think it is not correct to say they took seperate routes and important to state he could very well have followed her the entire way if he chose to, which seems like any normal person would do in fact.

I will look for links to the police reports and post them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gottapeesuzy (talkcontribs) 22:19, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

If nobody, in either the police report or any published sources, has questioned Daniel Schuler's route home or why he took it, I believe it would be original research for this article to cast any doubt on that subject or suggest that it may imply some sort of guilt. Even if he took all the same roads, their cars would presumably have been separated when Diane Schuler made her stops at McDonald's and other places, so amending the sentence further to simply say that he was driving home in a separate vehicle would seem to suffice for purposes of explaining why he wasn't in the car and why he wasn't nearby when she began having problems. It's not our job to try to do police work in this article. (By the way, you can sign your posts by writing four tildes at the end of your message, like this: ~~~~.) Propaniac (talk) 14:06, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

I just now took a look at the route that had been used previously; I've driven most or all of those roads myself: Rt. 17 (future I-86) to NY Thruway, which at that point is I-87; S and E on the Thruway across Tappan Zee Bridge; stay on I-287 where it breaks off the Thruway just after Tappan Zee Bridge; I-287 ends at I-95 near Connecticut border; head S on I-95 then exit towards Throgs Neck Bridge. (A possible non-parkway route into suburban Long Island would then take I-295 south and the L.I.E. east.)

In the route leading to this crash, I see that Diane Schuler got across the Tappan Zee Bridge. How did she then get NORTH to Briarcliff Manor? According to what I read, she then headed south in the northbound Taconic State Parkway lanes (and got into that head-on crash). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:27, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

That question does appear in article of 2 Aug 2009:

"State police are still trying to determine how Schuler got from the Tappan Zee to the Pleasantville Road exit ramp along the Taconic."

It's been over 4_1/2 years since then. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:49, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

I added a paragraph (one sentence) to acknowledge the mystery of how Diane Schuler got from the Tappan Zee to the Taconic Parkway ramps near Briarcliff Manor. Why wasn't such an acknowledgement in the article earlier? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:26, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

And I decided to add "(and why)", because of the discussion above about expressway route from Sullivan County to Long Island. Briarcliff Manor is out of the way w/r to that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:11, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Misuse of Infobox[edit]

Why does this article use the template Infobox bus accident? It was not a bus accident. A bus was not involved. In addition, the infobox is not implemented correctly. --Crunch (talk) 20:30, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

The infobox appearance was screwed-up because of changes that someone had made to the template; I've undone those changes now, so as far as I can tell there's nothing wrong with the implementation. As for whether the infobox should be used at all on this article, I'm not the one who put it in place, but I can't see any problem with using it. Propaniac (talk) 03:14, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Wording regarding a store[edit]

Early on in Diane Schuler's route, we are told of stop at a store and trying to buy over-the-counter stuff, "but the store did not sell any" (in the current wording).

We need to reconsider the wording. I am guessing that the store did not carry the product that was being sought. However, it could also be interpreted as having the product but refusing the sale. A few times on TV programs about forensics, there has been a case of someone trying to buy a hazardous product which was in stock and such a sale being refused. Perhaps "but the store did not sell any" in THIS wikipedia article could be changed to "but the store did not carry that product"; although I am able to make such a change myself, I don't know quite enough about the story behind it to be putting it in myself now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Good point. To me:
(1) "but the store did not sell any" ... means that the store did not carry that item in their inventory
(2) "but the store did not have any" ... means that the store did carry that item in their inventory, but they happened to be out of stock for that product on that particular day
I tried to look at the sources listed for some clarification, but they all led to dead links. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:15, 15 May 2015 (UTC)


If I recall, several people have sued several other people. This article should details the results of those lawsuits. Does anyone have any information about this? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:56, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

The lawsuits settled. See: [1] Aluf Timna (talk) 02:03, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

"Child Passenger Protection Act" Section[edit]

This section appears to have nothing to do with the actual article itself, aside from coincidental circumstances involving drinking and underage children in the vehicle. None of the provided information has anything to do with the actual 2009 Taconic State Parkway crash, if there are documented sources that provide a correlation between the act and this article, this needs to be provided. As it is written currently, propose that this section of the article be removed unless correlating documentation is in fact provided. Thoughts? RTShadow (talk) 21:53, 29 September 2017 (UTC)