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Kin of men in Taconic crash doubt driver's husband

Margaret Nicotina, left, and Roseann Guzzo, sisters of

Margaret Nicotina, left, and Roseann Guzzo, sisters of Guy Bastardi, who was killed in the wrong way accident on New York's Taconic Parkway, are interviewed by host Matt Lauer on a previous edition of the NBC "Today" television program. (Aug. 10, 2009) Photo Credit: AP

The husband of Diane Schuler, who authorities said was driving while drunk and high, must have known that she was a heavy drinker, and he is either not being truthful or is in denial about her alcohol use, the family of two victims said Monday.

>> Click here to see photos of the Bastardis and Schulers

"He's in denial. Somewhere along the line you have to know somebody can drink like that," Roseann Guzzo said in a "Today" show interview. She and her sister Margie Nicotina spoke to NBC's Matt Lauer.

"My sister and I can't drink like that," Guzzo said.

Guzzo and Nicotina lost their brother, Guy Bastardi, 49, and their father, Michael Bastardi, 81, on July 26 when Diane Schuler drove the wrong way for 1.7 miles on the Taconic in Westchester County before crashing head-on into the Bastardi's sport utility vehicle. The collision killed Schuler, 36, of West Babylon; three nieces and her daughter; and three Yonkers men in the SUV - the Bastardis and their friend Daniel Longo, 74. Schuler's son, Bryan, 5, survived.

Authorities say Diane Schuler was drunk and high on marijuana at the time of the crash.

Nicotina and Guzzo expressed anger and grief - and skepticism - at the public statements of Daniel Schuler, the driver's husband, who said she did not have a drinking problem. The husband blamed a medical condition for the accident. And he said in a news conference last week that his "heart is clear" with the knowledge that his wife was not a drunken driver.

"I don't believe everything we hear from the Schuler family. You know where he says his heart is clear? My heart is broken at night," Guzzo said. "I lost my father and my brother, my family is devastated by this."

"This didn't have to happen," Guzzo said. "She had a choice and she made a choice. And this is what happens when you drink and you do drugs and you get behind the wheel of a car."

>> Click here to see photos of the Bastardis and Schulers

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