I am haunted by the Diane Schuler story. I can’t shake it. I go back to Google again and again, searching for the latest news updates and blog posts about the hideous, horrific crash which she caused, and which claimed a total of eight lives. I read and read and try to find information that will shine a light on the murk and mess of her final hours.
Twice the legal level of alcohol in her bloodstream, the equivalent of ten shots. Weed in her system. Booze consumed so recently it had not yet metabolized in her body. The broken bottle of vodka found under the seat of the wrecked minivan.
The husband’s press conference, his pathetic, infuriating denial. The lawyer, despicable. She had diabetes/a stroke/an abscessed tooth, they suggest. Absurd claims the coroner’s report flatly contradicts.
The lone survivor, Diane Schuler’s son — the little boy released from the hospital today. His mother and sister and cousins are dead. What does he remember? We’ll probably never know – the police have said they don’t plan to talk to him.
My son is one year older than that little boy, one year younger than one of the girls who died. It’s impossible for me not to think of him when I imagine the final chaotic minutes in that minivan – the fatal turn onto the Taconic, the two-minute terror ride going the wrong way. The final impact. Did the kids cry? Did they scream? Did they beg her to stop, to slow down? Did they cling to each other? Did they close in on themselves and just surrender to the inevitable?
I can’t shake this story.
I am raging at a woman I never knew, a woman who is dead and buried. God forgive me but I am full of contempt for her, for her stupid choices, for her weakness. Weakness to let her drinking spiral out of control. Not to seek help. I’ve been around alcoholics, I’ve been caught up in the toxic swirl of their bullshit. Don’t quote twelve steps at me and ask me to absolve the alcoholic for her sins because she was in the “grip of her disease.” Don’t you dare tell me it was the disease that killed those people. Those babies.
Diane Schuler killed three adults and four children. Not the disease. SHE CHOSE. Some say she was not a bad mom. I hear that and it makes me physically ill.