Seemingly oblivious to terrified drivers swerving out of her way, Diane Schuler serenely sped the wrong way down the Taconic Parkway in her borrowed red minivan loaded with five children. She smashed head-on into an SUV, killing the three men in the SUV, herself, her daughter, and her three nieces. Only her young son survived the tragic crash. In the excellent, heartbreaking documentary There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane, filmmaker Liz Garbus tries to answer this question: why was Diane Schuler – a good, responsible person – driving the wrong way?
A perfect wife. A loving mother. A woman who could have been voted “Mom Most Likely to Get Your Kids Home Safely” – this was Diane Schuler; so imagine how inconceivable, how utterly beyond belief, when Diane’s autopsy revealed that she had been drinking heavily and smoking marijuana shortly before the crash. Surely the medical examiner got it wrong, tested the wrong DNA, didn’t look for medical reasons for her wildly out-of-character actions, it just couldn’t be true, could it?
In interviews with family members and friends, medical examiners and police, investigators and journalists, filmmaker Liz Garbus pieces together the truth of what happened that dreadful day. The tension builds as Garbus traces Diane’s movements from the moment she buckled the kids into her van at the campground, to breakfast at McDonald’s, to a gas station to look for pain relievers, to her increasingly aggressive driving and bizarre phone calls, to the final, horrifying scenes of the crash that destroyed so many lives.
Interested viewers will not want to miss the new memoir written by Jackie Hance, mother of the three little girls killed in the crash. In I’ll See You Again, she speaks of her heartbreak and grief at the loss of her three, beautiful daughters.