NEW YORK (WPIX)—The fatal crash on the Taconic State Parkway that took the lives of eight people was caused by the over-the-counter medicine Anbesol, according to a lawyer hired by the family of Diane Schuler, the drunken driver who caused the July 26 accident.
The far fetched explanation is the latest attempt from attorney Dominic Barbara and Schuler's husband Daniel to prove that the accident was not sparked by apparent alcohol abuse by Diane Schuler.
"She took Anbesol for her toothache, that's what caused it," Barbara said.
An autopsy by the Westchester District Attorney's office revealed that Diane Schuler had six grams of undigested alcohol in her stomach and her blood alcohol level was a whooping 0.19, which is the equivalent of 10 shots of vodka. The autopsy also revealed that Diane smoked marijuana up to 15 minutes before the crash.
Police recovered a 1.75-liter bottle of vodka in Schuler's car after the accident which is what she could have been drinking before the accident.
Barbara however continues to refute that notion saying, "There was no alcohol abuse. There's no way in the world she's an alcoholic."
Anbesol contains small amounts of benzyl alcohol, but it dissolves immediately after application according to a spokesperson from Wyeth, the company that distributes the medicine.
Diane Schuler was killed in the crash along with her 2-year-old daughter, Erin, and three nieces Emma, 8, Alyson, 7, and Kate, 5. Daniel Longo, 74, Guy Bastardi, 49, and Michael Bastardi, 81, were traveling in an SUV that was struck head-on by Schuler's oncoming minivan. The three Yonkers men were also killed in the crash.
Irving Anolik, the attorney for the Bastardi family, said Barbara's claim of Anbesol being responsible for the crash is "ridiculous."