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Grandparents who moved to be near family, baby in Seattle die in crash during family walk

Dennis and Judith Schulte had just arrived in Seattle from the Midwest, a move they made to be near their newborn grandson.

They were killed Monday when a suspected drunken driver slammed into them as they crossed a street during a walk with their grandson and his mother. The crash left the other two family members in critical condition Tuesday.

"They were so elated. This is their only grandchild," said Judith Schulte's sister, Susan Morton.

Morton said the retired Indiana couple was walking with their daughter-in-law, Karina Schulte, and her 10-day-old son when they were stuck.

Mark Mullan, 50, was ordered held Tuesday on $2.5 million bail. He is being held on investigation of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. Prosecutors have until Thursday to formally charge him.

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.

A police officer said in court documents that he smelled alcohol on Mullan's breath and that Mullan showed impairment on sobriety tests. A preliminary test showed a breath alcohol level of 0.22, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08, the officer said.

His license was suspended at the time of the crash at an intersection in a residential neighborhood, according to the documents. "He does not have a valid license," said Brad Benfield, a spokesman with the Department of Licensing.

Mullan told police he was unable to see the pedestrians because the sun was in his eyes, according to court documents.

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 crash scene 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, a 33-year-old from Chile, works as a pediatric nurse specialist and is dedicated to her work.

Dennis, 66, and Judith Schulte, 68, were 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 grandchild. They had planned to spend six months in Seattle to be near their son's family and were renting an apartment near the intersection where they were killed.

"They wanted to be there when he was born. They got to hold him and be there with him for 10 days," Morton said.

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