The Law & Order franchise is known for its “ripped from the headlines” tagline and story structure, and hasn’t shied away from very contemporary true crime inspiration in the past.
Last week in Manhattan, the popular network drama caused a bit of a stir filming scenes for an episode about a fiery July 26th crash on New York’s Taconic Parkway. The disaster gripped local media because it took the lives of all but one in Diane Schuler’s packed minivan as well as three people in another vehicle. Eight people including Schuler died that day, with the sole survivor being her young son. Among the dead were Schuler’s children and three nieces. It was revealed soon after that Schuler was likely both drunk and high that morning.
Onlookers gathered at West 151st Street in Harlem near Adam Clayton Powell Blvd, and opined to the Post about whether the episode was in good taste. The violent and tragic deaths due to what was ostensibly a decision by one individual have deeply affected to New Yorkers, one of whom told the post it was “too soon,” and added, “those babies just died.” Others responded with a stereotypical New York laissez faire attitude:
But Harlem resident Juan Asuncion, 40, shruggingly said, “It’s probably way too soon to be doing this, but that’s the business these people are in.”