Accused drunk driver charged with vehicular homicide, assault

Accused drunk driver charged with vehicular homicide, assault
SEATTLE -- Prosecutors filed vehicular homicide and vehicular assault charges against the man accused of drunkenly running down an Indiana family Monday afternoon, and new details are emerging about the driver's reckless past.

Even before Monday's deadly crash that killed two people and left two more clinging to life, Mark Mullan had a disturbing string of alcohol offenses.

It was just a few months ago that Mullan showed up drunk to court to deal with an unrelated DUI case. When he arrived in court, the prosecutor smelled alcohol on his breath and the judge forced him to take a breathalyzer.

Mullan's blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit and he was jailed on the spot. When he finally bailed out two weeks later, he was ordered to install an interlock device on his truck.

Mullan ignored the court order, which is something a volunteer with Mothers Against Drunk Drivers said does nothing to safeguard the community.

"He'd been to court several times. He'd been charged several times. You just wonder what it's going to take to get this guy off the street," Mischelle Davis said.

Court records show Mullan was arrested five times for DUI before Monday's crash. Dennis Schulte, 66, and his 68-year-old wife Judy Schulte died at the scene of the crash. Their 33-year-old daughter-in-law Karina Schulte and their 10-day-old grandson Elias Jose were critically injured and remain in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center.

"They are in very very serious condition," said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. "They are in comas. They've had surgeries already. The mother has a crushed pelvis. The young boy had internal organ issues as well."

Monday was the first day that Karina had ventured for a walk after giving birth to her son, and it was also the day her husband returned to work, according to court documents.

Satterberg doesn't want Mullan to slip through the cracks any longer. On Thursday he filed felony charges against Mullan that could send him to prison for as many as 19 years.

"It makes us all just sick that in a blink of an eye a family is devastated by the thoughtless act of a chronic alcoholic, a chronic drunk driver," Satterberg said.

Mullan remains jailed on $2.5 million bail. His next court date is set for April 11.

A prayer vigil was held Thursday night at the Sand Point Community Methodist Church, where friends, family members and neighbors came out to remember the victims and share their stories.

"We have been so supported by this incredible community. Not just here tonight, but we have been supported since day one," said family member Ruth Dwyer.

The emergency workers who first responded to Monday's crash are still shaken by what they saw. While they did not know the family, many said they were forever changed by them.

Others, such as Lincoln Smith, knew members of the family on a more personal level. Smith worked with Karina on her first day of work as a nurse.

"Helping all the people she does, and doing it with strength and love and fervor -- she's amazing," Smith said.





----------------


Donations may be made at HomeStreet Bank, Wedgwood Branch, to these funds:

Karina & Elias Ulriksen-Schulte Medical Fund
Account: 5322733430
Routing #: 325084426

Dennis & Judy Schulte Memorial Fund
Account: 5388871396
Routing #: 325084426

You can also donate online at the Wedgwood Community Council, or call the branch directly at 206-525-2840 or 800-537-8333.