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Family, friends mourn crash victims

November 15, 2009 7:44:14 PM PST
The tight-knit community of West Babylon is grieving over the trageic loss of life on the Taconic Parkway. Neighbors said Diane Schuller and her husband were high school sweethearts and part of a very close family. "Very tight family, very good family," said neighbor Carmine Acosta.

Diane Schuller and her 2-year-old daughter were killed in the crash, along with Schuller's three nieces, ages 5, 7 and 9. Schuller's 5-year-old son survived the crash and is said to be fighting for his life. Friend Lisa Acosta said Diane was a loving and responsible mom devoted to her family.

"Diane is really cautious," she said. "I don't understand how that happened. There has to be a really serious explanation."

"They're a perfect family, perfect neighbors, very great people, we're really sad," neighbor Zack Boyle said.

And friends and relatives in Yonkers are mourning the loss of the crash victims in the other car, struck head on by Schuller's van. Three men were in that SUV -- Don Longo, Guy Bastardi and his 81-year-old father, Michael Bastardi. The men were heading to a family member's house in Yonkers for dinner. A devestated relative said he found out about the crash when he turned on the TV.

"I started to think maybe they were just caught in traffic," Robert Guzzo said. "I went upstairs to turn on the TV without my wife and as soon as I turned on the news, I saw the car."


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