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Wednesday
Jul272011

Mother of 3 Girls Killed in Taconic Crash Sues Brother-in-Law

Jackie Hance, whose daughters are seen in this undated file photo, were killed in the Taconic Park crash in 2009. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- Jackie Hance, who lost all three of her daughters in the wrong-way DUI crash on the Taconic Parkway just two years ago, is suing the husband of the drunk driver, her brother-in-law Daniel Schuler.

News of Hance's suit comes just a day after Schuler himself filed suit against New York State and Hance's husband Warren Hance, alleging that the Chevy Trailblazer the family had borrowed from his brother-in-law was faulty.

Jackie Hance alleges that her girls, Emma, 8; Alyson, 7; and Katie, 5, knew they were going to die and "suffered...terror, fear of impending death, extreme horror, fright, [and] mental anguish," according to The New York Post.

Schuler's wife Diane entered the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway in 2009 and drove for nearly two miles in the wrong direction, weaving in and out of oncoming traffic at speeds up to 70 mph before slamming head-on into another vehicle. Eight were killed in all: Guy Bastardi, 43; his father Michael Bastardi, 81; and a family friend, Daniel Longo, 72; as well as the Hance girls, Schuler, and her 2-year-old daughter Erin. Schuler was driving the girls home from a camping trip in upstate New York in a minivan the Schulers had borrowed from their in-laws, the Hances.

The only survivor was Schuler's son Bryan, then 5, who now lives with an ocular nerve impairment.

Toxicology reports later revealed that Diane Schuler, 36, had a blood alcohol level of .19 -- the equivalent of 10 shots of vodka -- and a high level of THC from smoking marijuana.

Daniel Schuler, who has tried to exhume his wife's body to prove her innocence in the crash, has also sued New York State, alleging the sign posting on the parkway was inadequate. He has steadfastly said his wife was "not a drunk driver," in spite of the medical examiner's findings.

Just minutes before the deadly crash, Hance's 9-year-old daughter, Emma, had called her father to say, "Something's wrong with Aunt Diane." Her haunting last words that became the title of a documentary on the deadly crash that recently aired on HBO.

Hance's lawsuit was filed in state Supreme Court in Suffolk where lower courts limit awards to $25,000, according to the Post.

Just a week ago, Jackie Hance, 40, of Floral Park, N.Y., announced that she was pregnant through in vitro fertilization and expecting in September.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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