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The family of the mother who killed eight people, including herself, her daughter and her three young Floral Park, L.I., nieces in the wrong-way Taconic Parkway accident last year just inked a deal with a movie company that plans to exhume her body to determine if a stroke led to the crash, the New York Post reported.
West Babylon, L.I., resident Diane Schuler was found by investigators to have drunk more than 1 1/2 times the legal limit for alcohol and to have been high on marijuana when she crashed her car on the Taconic July 26, 2009, but an attorney for her husband has claimed a medical condition may have been responsible for the accident.
Killed in the accident were the Hance sisters — Emma, 9; Alyson, 7; and Kate, 5 — of Floral Park; Schuler; her 2-year-old daughter, Erin; and three men in the car she collided with: Michael Bastardi, 81; his son, Guy Bastardi, 49; and Bastardi family friend Daniel Longo, 74.
Dominick Barbara, the attorney for Schuler’s husband, Daniel Schuler, could not be reached for comment nor could Bastardi family attorney John Q. Kelly.
Barbara told the Post he brokered the $100,000 movie deal that would be filmed by a documentary crew, but said he did not profit from the arrangement and that the funds would go to a trust set up for Bryan Schuler, the couple’s 6-year-old son, who survived the crash.
Barbara said the movie company, which plans to air the film on HBO, “will exhume the body and pay for all the testing to see if she suffered a stroke or not,” the Post reported.
Kelly said he plans to sue for $100,000 on behalf of the Bastardi family for the proceeds from the film, calling the movie plans an outrage.
“It’s clearly money that’s been paid to him for despicable purposes,” the Post quoted Kelly as saying about Daniel Schuler.
A memorial for Schuler and the Hance sisters was held Sunday in Floral Park.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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