Ind. grandparents who moved to Seattle to help with grandbaby killed in crash

Grandparents were struck by suspected drunk driver

SEATTLE - A Kokomo couple was killed when a suspected drunk driver struck them while they were walking near a middle school in Seattle.

Dennis Schulte, 66, and Judith Schulte, 68, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Susan Morton, Judith's younger sister, said the couple had just moved to Seattle from Kokomo to be near their grandson.

The couple's daughter-in-law, Karina Schulte, and 10-day-old grandson were critically injured the Monday crash.

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 with the Associated Press.

Mark Mullan, 50, was 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 level 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.
 
Mullan has a history of driving drunk. His most recent arrest for drunken driving was on Christmas Day when he struck a Seattle motel and was found to have a blood-alcohol content four times the legal limit.
 
Prior to the Christmas Day arrest, Mullan was arrested four other times related to driving under the influence.
 
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 at Northwestern High School for years, while he taught math and coached at Western High School.
 
"People like her don't come around very often," said Northwestern High School Principal Al Remaly. "She was just all about the kids and all about anything she could do for them." 
 
Judy's brother, J. Hugh Dwyer, said his sister and her husband made a big impact in their community.
 
"Between the two of them, they probably positively influenced thousands of high school students," he said.
 
They had moved to Seattle from Kokomo 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."
 
Judy Schulte was a dedicated volunteer at Kokomo Urban Outreach, said DeAnna Ancil, who directs the group's food pantry operations. Ancil said Judy Schulte "beamed" about having a grandchild.
 
"That's the positive thing, that they were able to see the grandchild and enjoy him for two weeks and enjoy the family connection," Ancil said. "But (it's) just such a shock still for all of us." 
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