SEATTLE — Mark Mullan, who plowed his pickup truck into a family in Seattle's Wedgwood neighborhood, killing two people and seriously injuring two others, was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison.
"My parents were murdered, run over by this man when he was drunk and behind the wheel of his large truck," said Dan Schulte at Mullan's sentencing hearing.
Mullan, who has several DUI convictions in the past, already pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.
Last March, he struck the Schulte family while they were crossing NE 75th Street in the Wedgwood neighborhood with his pickup truck. In an instant, two grandparents, Dennis and Judy Schulte, were killed and their daughter-in-law, Karina, and her 10-day-old son, Elias, were seriously injured. Mullan was drunk at the time, more than three times the legal limit.
"Work is not the same any more, home life is not the same anymore, it all has a dark cloud over it," said Schulte. "I hope I am able to rise above it and meet the next day with open arms, but it’s incredibly difficult to transcend this horror and sustain it for very long."
Karina Schulte, just recently released from the hospital, also attended Mullan's sentencing, in a wheelchair, next to Dan. She didn't speak, but many family members talked to the judge about how difficult life has been since Dennis and Judy Schulte were killed, along with the ongoing medical challenges of Karina and little Elias, who suffered permanent brain damage and impaired vision in the crash.
Since the crash, Dan and his sister Marilyn have pushed for tougher drunken driving laws in Washington state.
Mullan had five prior DUIs. He also had a suspended license and was on probation for drunken driving when he crashed into the Schulte family.
He didn't speak at his sentencing, but his twin brother, Mike, expressed condolences to the Mullan family on his behalf.
It was an emotional time in court for everyone involved, even Judge Barbara Linde, who said, "This is an almost unbearably tragic and horrific event and so the court well appreciates the enormity of this."