October 3, 2013 at 9:21 AM
Man pleads guilty to fatal Wedgwood crash that devastated family
A man who was on probation for a DUI conviction in March when his pickup struck four people in a Wedgwood crosswalk, killing two, pleaded guilty this morning to multiple charges, including two counts of vehicular homicide/DUI.
Mark W. Mullan, 51, also pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular assault/DUI and violating the state’s interlock law. He teared up as he faced a judge in King County Superior Court. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 15. He faces about 18 years in prison.
A pickup driven by Mullan crashed into the Schulte family in a Wedgwood crosswalk March 25, while they were out for a walk. Dennis and Judy Schulte were struck, along with their daughter-in-law, Karina Ulriksen Schulte, and her infant son, Elias.
Dennis and Judy Schulte were killed, and Ulriksen Schulte and her son were badly injured.
Mullan smelled of alcohol, failed field sobriety tests and had a preliminary breath-alcohol level of 0.22 percent, nearly three times the state’s legal limit of 0.08 percent, according to Seattle police.
Mullan was on probation after a DUI conviction, under the supervision of the Seattle Municipal Court Probation Department. He had a suspended license and wasn’t supposed to be driving without an interlock device.
The victims’ family has filed $45 million in claims against the city of Seattle for failing to supervise Mullan. Filing a claim is the first step toward suing the city for damages, if the family doesn’t settle a claim with the city outside of court.
According to the claims, filed in August, “The city of Seattle failed to properly monitor and supervise Mr. Mullan, and as a result, he was allowed to violate the terms of his probation, go untreated and drive his vehicle without an interlock device while intoxicated.”
The claims include damages for physical, mental and emotional injuries, plus medical expenses and wage losses for Ulriksen Schulte and her son, the estates of Dennis and Judy Schulte, Ulriksen Schulte’s husband, Dan Schulte, and his sister, Marilyn Schulte.
After this morning’s sentencing hearing, Dan Schulte said the past 6 1/2 months have been a “roller coaster” fror his family. He said he was relieved by plea deal. He said his wife is in a rehabilitation facility and will soon come home.
“She has a long road ahead,” he said.
His son, Elias, has been home for some time.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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