Reaction to Schuler family statement

August 7, 2009 1:10:24 PM PDT
Reaction still strong tonight from the family of Diane Schuler's insistence that the wrong-way driver on the Taconic Parkway had no problem with booze or drugs.

This, despite the medical examiner's report showing she had twice the legal limit of alcohol in her system and was high on marijuana when she crashed her minivan full of children into a SUV driven by three men. Eight people were killed.

Tonight at 11, the family of the Guy and Michael Bastardi - the father and son in that SUV - are speaking to Eyewitness News about their reaction to the Schuler family's contentions.

We're also in Roslyn Heights on Long Island, where there was a bizarre and deadly shooting this afternoon. A small white home turning into a house of carnage - four people shot, three of them dead. And police say they are NOT looking for the shooter, because it's one of the dead.

We'll also have the latest on the economy. The raw numbers aren't pretty: nearly 250,000 people lost their jobs last month. Horrible. But it's far better - by 80,000 - than experts had predicted. And the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 9.4%, the first decline in 15 months.

Tappy Phillips has a happy-ending follow up to a story she reported last week. Victims of a ruthless apartment rental scam - that left them homeless. Some Eyewitness News viewers with big hearts opened their pocketbooks and have found them a place to live.

We're also keeping tabs on the critical condition of Eunice Shriver - President Kennedy's sister, the mother of Maria Shriver, and the founder of the Special Olympics, in her sister's honor. She's now in a hospital on Cape Cod, surrounded by her family.

And we'll preview tomorrow's historic swearing in of New Yorker Sonia Sotomayor as the newest and first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Coincidence or just good timing that she'll be sworn in on Smokey the Bear's 65th Birthday? Happy Birthday, Smokey.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Jeff Smith (in for Lee Goldberg) with the weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports, including game two highlights of the Yankees versus Red Sox. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa (in for Liz Cho) and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.

BILL RITTER


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