Sole Taconic Crash Survivor a 'Miracle Child'

PHOTO: BRYAN SCHULER

Nearly three months ago, 5-year-old Bryan Schuler witnessed the wrong-way crash that killed eight people, including his mother, sister and three cousins.

But the sole survivor of the accident on the Taconic State Parkway in New York is doing well and recovering from his injuries.

"He is a vivacious, lovable 5-year-old child," said Thomas Ruskin, a private investigator hired by the family to look into the accident. "You would never know he was recovering from two broken legs and a broken arm."

Bryan was in the back of the family's van when, police say, his mother, Diane Schuler, left an upstate New York campground and drove the wrong way for nearly two miles down a Westchester County highway.

The boy was the only person to survive the head-on crash that killed his mother, 2-year-old sister, three cousins, as well as three men in the oncoming car.

Bryan is trying to rebuild his eyesight and his father puts a patch over each eye to try to strengthen it.

"He is a miracle child, there is no question about it," Ruskin said. "Someone spared this child from this terrible, horrific accident."

The accident turned even more tragic after authorities revealed that toxicology tests showed Bryan's mother was drunk and stoned as she drove against traffic.

A report by the medical examiner said Schuler, 36, had a blood alcohol level of 0.19, more than twice the legal limit of alcohol, and had also ingested a large quantity of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Husband Denies Schuler was Drunk

Schuler's husband, Daniel Schuler, has repeatedly defended his wife, saying she was not a drinker and insisted that the toxicology report was wrong.

"She did not drink. She was not an alcoholic," Schuler said Aug. 6. "Something medically had to have happened."

Schuler hired Ruskin to look into the accident.

Ruskin said he has not asked Bryan what he remembers about the moments leading up to the crash.

"He doesn't seem to remember right now," Ruskin said. "He is 5 years old and he is recovering from very severe injuries. Fracture plus head trauma he suffered as part of the injuries at the accident."

Ruskin said he is now running his own tests to determine exactly what happened that day in hopes of piecing together the moments that led up to the crash that shattered three families and changed this young boy's life forever.

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