Alleged drunken driver rams into family in Seattle

Grandparents killed; mother, 10-day-old son critically injured



SEATTLE — A suspected drunken driver slammed into a family at a crosswalk in a crash that critically injured a newborn child and his mother and killed his grandparents, who had recently moved to Seattle from the Midwest to be near their grandson.

Karina Schulte, 33, and her 10-day-old son were in critical condition Tuesday afternoon, said Liz Hunter, a spokeswoman for Harborview Medical. Grandparents Dennis Schulte, 66, and Judith Schulte, 68, died at the scene Monday.

Judith Schulte’s sister, Susan Morton, said the retired Indiana couple were walking Monday afternoon with their daughter-in-law and the baby when they were struck.

Karina Schulte “had the baby in a sling on the front. He just hit all four of them,” said Morton, of Cottonwood, Minn..

During a court hearing Tuesday, Mark Mullan, 50, was ordered held on $2.5 million bail for investigation of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. Prosecutors have until Thursday to formally charge him.

In court documents, a Seattle police officer investigating the crash said he smelled alcohol on Mullan’s breath and that Mullan showed impairment on sobriety tests. A preliminary test showed a breath alcohol level of 0.22, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08, the officer said in court documents. His license was suspended at the time of the crash in a residential neighborhood, documents said.

Mullan told police he was unable to see the pedestrians because the sun was in his eyes, according to court documents.

“He does not have a valid license,” said Brad Benfield, a spokesman with the state Department of Licensing.

It was unclear Tuesday whether Mullan had legal representation. A message left with an attorney who represented him in a drunken driving case in December was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Police said Mullan stopped after the crash and was cooperative.

Morton said Karina Schulte, who is from Chile, works as a pediatric nurse specialist.

Dennis and Judith Schulte were both longtime high school teachers. They had moved to Seattle from Kokomo, Ind., in February to witness the birth of their first grandson. They had planned to spend six months in Seattle to be near their son and his family.

“They were so elated. This is their only grandchild,” Morton said.