SEATTLE – A suspected drunken driver slammed into a family crossing the street in a residential Seattle neighborhood, a crash that critically injured a newborn child and his mother and killed his grandparents, who had recently moved 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 Center in Seattle. 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 stuck.
Karina Schulte “had the baby in a sling on the front. He just hit all four of them,” said Morton, of Cottonwood, Minn., in a telephone interview.
Mark Mullan, 50, was ordered held on $2.5 million bail during a court hearing Tuesday. He is being held on 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 during sobriety tests. A preliminary test showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.22 percent, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08, the officer said in court documents.
Mullan told police he was unable to see the pedestrians at an intersection in a residential neighborhood because the sun was in his eyes, according to court documents.
His license was suspended at the time of the crash, according to the documents.
“He does not have a valid license,” said Brad Benfield, a spokesman with the 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.
Mullan didn’t answer reporters’ questions as police led him away from the scene of the crash in handcuffs Monday. Police said he stopped after the crash and was cooperative. A phone number listed for Mullan was disconnected.
Morton said Karina Schulte, who is from Chile, works as a pediatric nurse specialist and is dedicated to her work.
Dennis and Judith Schulte were both longtime high school teachers; she taught English and was a head guidance counselor for years, while he taught math. 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 renting an apartment near the intersection where they were killed.
“They were so elated. This is their only grandchild,” Morton said. “They wanted to be there when he was born. They got to hold him and be there with him for 10 days.”