Seattle father recalls horrific story in hopes of saving lives

SEATTLE -- One year ago Tuesday marks a tragic anniversary for a Seattle family.

It's the day their lives changed forever at the hands of a drunk driver. The Seattle father who lost part of his family and now wants to do everything to protect yours.

"I hope our story will remind people how bad it can be, help people change their minds," said Dan Schulte.

If Mark Mullan had changed his mind, and chosen not to drive drunk one year ago, Schulte's parents would be alive.

"They were great parents and they were gonna be great grandparents," he said.

Schulte's wife, Karina, would not be battling a severe brain injury and stroke and would not have to re-learn how to talk and walk.

"It's sad," Schulte said. "It's sad for me to not have my wife the same as she used to be, but we try to celebrate what we do have."

That part is easy. Their one year old son, Elias, has given them limitless joy and all the strength required to push through this life changing event.

"He's a lovable small boy," Schulte said.

While his wife struggles to communicate, Schulte says only mom can soothe Elias and he keeps mommy happy. He was just 10 days old when Mullan mowed Schulte's family down in a Wedgwood crosswalk.

Mullan had a history of driving drunk. He was nearly three times the legal limit and pleaded guilty last year.

"It has been a roller coaster, it's hard to argue it was the best year because my son, it was his first year of life he has been a blessing to us all," Schulte said.

Schulte didn't once mention Mullan, saying only, "I'm angry that it ever happened it's not fair it had to happened to my family."

He insists his energy is better spent on telling his story in hopes that it will never be retold by another unsuspecting family.

"I want to remind people a lot of harm can happen from impaired driving," he said.

Their son's vision is permanently impaired from his injuries, but after a series of surgeries he is otherwise expected to make a full recovery.

At 4 p.m. On Tuesday, the exact time of the crash, Schulte and his family will commemorate with a memorial walk and rally in Wedgwood. They're meeting at Top Pot Doughnuts near the the intersection of 68th Street and 35th Avenue NE.