Saturday, December 31, 2011

There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane (2011) - Drink Responsibly


Daniel Schuler, Jay Schuler, Dominic Barbara. Directed by Liz Garbus. Run time: 100 minutes. Rated: Not rated.

At First Bite: I caught the end of this documentary on one of the HBO channels. So, I waited three hours and watched the entire film on the West Coast version.

The film revisits the tragic events of the Taconic State Parkway crash in New York on July 26, 2009. Diane Schuler was on her way home from a camping trip, but halfway there she got on the parkway going in the wrong direction. Her 2003 Ford Windstar hit another vehicle head-on. The three men in the other vehicle perished as a result of the crash along with Diane, her two-year-old daughter and three nieces. Five-year-old Bryan Schuler survived.

Tough to Swallow: The stubbornness and reliability of Diane's husband, Daniel.

Something to Chew On: The documentary premiered on HBO on July 25, 2011.

On July 26, 2011, Daniel Schuler announced he would sue the State of New York for not keeping the roads safe. He also planned to sue his brother-in-law Warren Hance, the owner of the 2003 Ford Windstar.

In August 2009, New York Governor David Paterson proposed the Child Passenger Protection Act. The proposal became law in November 2009 making it a felony to drive drunk with a passenger under the age of 16.

The Law & Order episode entitled "Doped" from Season 20 aired November 6, 2009. The episode involves a similar crash with nearly identical deaths. A disorienting nasal spray was found at the crash in the TV version.

Aftertaste: I'm still not sure what to believe. I was on the side of the husband at first because Diane just didn't seem like the kind of person who would be so irresponsible. The surveillance footage and interviews done by the investigator hired by Daniel seemed to help their case. However, the family later admits Diane had certain vices and an incriminating piece of evidence comes to light.

Regardless of the latter information, I still find it a mystery. Personally, I think it was a mix of alcohol and a severe medical condition. But, we might never really know.

The documentary itself is oftentimes chilling and disturbing, especially when hearing the 9-1-1 calls.

Garbus might have touched on something when she delves into Daniel's family history. If Diane was secretly drinking, it's highly likely Daniel was the cause.

Although Diane killed herself and seven others that fateful day, there definitely seems to be something wrong with husband Daniel.


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