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Taconic Crash Victims' Family To File Civil Suit

Posted by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 12:05 PM
  • 8 Replies

Taconic Crash Victims' Family To File Civil Suit

Michael Bastardi's Children Meet With Westchester District Attorney DiFiore To Discuss Investigation

FLORAL PARK, N.Y. (CBS) ―


The family of two of the men killed in the wrong-way accident on the Taconic State Parkway say they plan to file a civil lawsuit after learning the woman responsible for the crash was drunk and high at the time.

Relatives of Michael Bastardi, 81, and Guy Bastardi, 49, met with Westchester County Janet DiFiore on Wednesday to discuss the latest revelations about the crash.

"The D.A. said at the present time, the investigation is wide open," said Irv Antolik, the attorney representing the Bastardi family. Antolik said the family would file a civil suit, though details of the lawsuit are not yet known.

Toxicology reports revealed that 36-year-old Diane Schuler, who was driving her minivan in the wrong direction on the parkway before smashing head-on into the SUV carrying the Bastardis and a third man, 74-year-old Daniel Longo, who also died, had a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit. She had also been smoking pot up to an hour before the wreck.

"This was not the first time she drank, and I'm sure people knew," Margaret Nicotina, the elder Bastardi's daughter, said Tuesday.

Bastardi's children spoke of their anger and anguish Tuesday, and on Wednesday their lawyer demanded DiFiore take a close look at Schuler's husband, Daniel, who was with his wife as she loaded their daughter and three nieces into her minivan at an upstate campground four hours before the crash.

"Since I believe there is a strong fragrance of criminality, I want to find out what did the husband, the brother, the other people know. What was the background of this deceased driver?" asked Antolik.

DiFiore issued a statement on Tuesday saying: "My office, along with the New York State Police, will continue to investigate the facts and circumstances that led up to the collision causing their deaths."

CBS 2 learned that Mr. Schuler told state police his wife drank socially and smoked pot occasionally, but seemed perfectly fine on that Sunday morning. With the funerals of his wife, daughter, and nieces complete, cops are now pressing for a sit-down with Schuler in the next few days.

In the midst of all this, Mr. Schuler has been coming to the Westchester Medical Center every day to spend time with his 5-year-old son Bryan, the only survivor from inside the minivan.

State police have not interviewed Bryan about what he experienced on that terrible drive, but a source says they'll try if they feel it's the only way to answer the lingering questions.

A lawyer said the Bastardi family is praying for Bryan, who is said to be making daily progress in his recovery.

How do you feel about this guy suing the husband who has to now take care of his 5 year old son, being sued? As if the loss of his wife and nieces, medical bills for his son weren't enough?
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 12:05 PM
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Replies (1-8):
tha-hawt-mommie
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Well she was drunk/high when this happened ... i would probably do the same , i mean theres no reason to drive under the influence. 

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Dylansmom32509
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 12:09 PM

I think its wrong. I cant understand why they go after someone who had nothing to do with the accident beside being the spouse of the person who caused it. Money isn't going to bring their loved one back.

lolamac
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 12:19 PM

 I think they are searching for comfort/solice in the wrong place. Money will not bring their loved ones back....the pain and trauma of going through litigation will only exacerbate the already open wounds that this tragedy has left on those family members of ALL the victims of this horrific tragedy.

If their purpose is to have the husband feel guilt/remorse/fault/ or to suffer as they have for their loss....I can bet that he already does. They are not the only ones that had to bury their family.

MissBearNMonkey
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 1:36 PM

I completely agree.

The person responsible paid with her and her child's lives. There is nothing more that can be done.

My mother was the victim of a drunk driver who paid out a hefty sum  for his actions. Believe me...it wasn't enough. It would have NEVER have been enough.

What a tragedy all around. I hope the Bastardis will find closure without making that tragedy even worse.

Quoting lolamac:

 I think they are searching for comfort/solice in the wrong place. Money will not bring their loved ones back....the pain and trauma of going through litigation will only exacerbate the already open wounds that this tragedy has left on those family members of ALL the victims of this horrific tragedy.

If their purpose is to have the husband feel guilt/remorse/fault/ or to suffer as they have for their loss....I can bet that he already does. They are not the only ones that had to bury their family.


lbranta
by Bronze Member on Nov. 12, 2009 at 1:55 PM

I understand the family is in pain and rightfully so, but if they take that pain out in this kind of way with wanting money for it then they could be causing harm to the boy who survived that they say they are praying for.  I don't get how you can pray for the boy ( who is also a victim ) and still sue being that mostly likely it well be taking away from that same child.  The money well not bring back their loved ones but it well probably hurt another victim.

angiemichelle06
by Member on Nov. 12, 2009 at 1:58 PM

No money will bring these people back but the woman that caused the crashed and killed these people isnt here to face her consequenses. She CHOSE to drive under the influence and it killed her her kids nieces and 2 others. If it were me or my family Id do the same thing!

rileygirl
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 2:04 PM

Well said.The husband may have made some poor choices that day, but he will suffer everyday for the rest of his life, like the bastardi's. And people who drink, and smoke marijuana, or any drug for that matter, don't always show signs that they have been. It's a poor excuse, but my mother smokes pot, and i can never tell. I hope that the family realizes, they have both suffered enough. Thanks for posting.

Quoting lolamac:

 I think they are searching for comfort/solice in the wrong place. Money will not bring their loved ones back....the pain and trauma of going through litigation will only exacerbate the already open wounds that this tragedy has left on those family members of ALL the victims of this horrific tragedy.

If their purpose is to have the husband feel guilt/remorse/fault/ or to suffer as they have for their loss....I can bet that he already does. They are not the only ones that had to bury their family.


PestPatti
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 9:05 PM

 

 The state of NY allows the insured,  the driver and the owner of ANY vehicle involved in a traffic accident to sue any other driver/insured/owner involved.

 We went after the insurance company when my mother and sister were killed.    We didnt go after the driver or the owner of the car.   The insurance  for her was cancelled shortly after the clusterfuck.

Of course my sisters boyfriend at the time of her death, sued EVERYONE including my dad .    We had to sit through depositions while the dickhead trashed my dad.   He now avoids all contact with us, hmmm I wonder why.. 

 

  

   

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