GARDEN CITY, N.Y., Aug. 6 (UPI) -- A driver who died in a head-on collision on a New York highway that killed seven other people was diabetic and unlikely to have been drunk, a lawyer said.
Investigators have said Diane Schuler, 36, had a blood alcohol level of .19 at the time of the July 26 crash and had alcohol in her stomach that had not yet metabolized. They also said toxicology tests suggested she had smoked marijuana shortly before the crash.
Dominic Barbara, a lawyer representing Schuler's husband, Dan, said at a news conference in Garden City, N.Y., Thursday Diane Schuler might have had a stroke, The Westchester Journal-News reported.
"I think she had a stroke of some sort," Barbara said. "From the stroke came all other issues that happened."
Dan Schuler told reporters his wife was not an alcoholic. Barbara said the notion Diane Schuler would drink and smoke marijuana while driving is "bizarre to everyone who knows her," although he later suggested she might have used alcohol in an attempt to raise her blood-sugar level.
Diane Schuler drove wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway for several miles before hitting a mini-van driven by Guy Bastardi of Yonkers. The crash killed Diane Schuler, her 2-year-old daughter and three nieces, Bastardi, his father, Michael, 81, and a friend, Daniel Longo, 74.
Bryan Schuler, 5, was the only survivor.