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Friday, March 29, 2013

Updates from the Drunk Driving Incident near Eckstein

This story gets even more sad.

The incident occurred on the first day the mother, Karina Ulriksen-Schulte, had ventured out after giving birth via C-section.  (As someone who has had C-sections, I know she must have been moving slowly and carefully.)  She and her in-laws decided to cross NE 75th at 33rd NE and she saw the pickup coming.  She doubled back to help her in-laws and all of them got hit.

Both the grandparents, Judy Schulte and her husband, Dennis, were former educators who just moved from Indiana.

Details of the conditions of the mother and baby from the Times:

Elias, born March 15, was thrown to the pavement and wasn’t breathing when police and medics found him lying next to his unconscious mother, the papers say. He suffered skull fractures and a brain injury and underwent emergency surgery for injuries to his liver and intestines, charging papers say. 

Ulriksen-Schulte suffered a crushed pelvis and later developed blood clots that caused a stroke and led to brain damage, the papers say.

Both mother and son are in comas, the charging papers say.

This just breaks your heart.  The husband's parents are dead and his wife and child are both in serious condition and both have brain injuries. 

The driver blew .22 on a breath-alcohol level (more than three times the legal limit).  He claims the sun was in his eyes.  I live near Eckstein and I drove that route, at the same time with the same sunny conditions, yesterday.  The sun could not have been in his eyes at that time enough to impair his driving.

The Legislature passed a new law for sentencing people for vehicular homicide and assault (how the driver is being charged).    Under the old sentencing, the driver might have faced only 9-12 years but now faces 15-20 years.  Not enough, I know but better than it was before.

UPDATE:  There is a walk planned for Monday, April 1st from 4-5 p.m. from Top Pot Donuts on 35th NE to the accident site at 75th and 33rd.  

Please keep this family in your thoughts, prayers and good wishes this weekend.   It could have been one of Eckstein's students or staff.

10 comments:

mirmac1 said...

All other issues pale in comparison. I'm praying for a miracle on Easter for this family.

Po3 said...

So very sad. The good news - if you consider anything good - is the driver is being held on $2.5 million bail, so he can't get out and behind the wheel, again!

And 20 years is not enough, wonder if they can charge him on two counts of murder and sentence him to 40 years. That would be life for him.

Eric B said...

I'm not normally a "lock them up and throw away the key" guy, but this case tests my better nature. According to the Times, the guy showed up drunk to a DUI hearing 6 weeks before the accident. I would have trouble coming up with a punishment strong enough for him. I guess living out the rest of his days in prison with no alcohol to hide the pain is pretty bad.

Our thoughts are definitely with the family.

Jet City mom said...

Question- all I can see on the Ravenna blog is a volvo ad.
Any ideas?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Don't know what was happening with the Ravenna Blog site but the Seattle Greenways has the Memorial Walk info.

Jet City mom said...

Very sad & disturbing case. I do not understand why this guy was still driving around.
Personally, I am mystified why Melissa, you felt the need to add that it could have been someone related to Eckstein in the accident.
That seems to be an unnecessary comment.
Is the deaths of two young grandparents and the probable deaths of their daughter in law and grandchild not tragic enogh?

mirmac1 said...

Jet City mom,

I think Melissa is just making the connection to district students...

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, Mirmac is right - I was providing context for the story to this blog.

But thanks for that "unnecessary" comment. I would not be writing about these people - who are practically my neighbors - if I didn't think it tragic enough.

Anonymous said...


There is an Eckstein connection, or two. Last night the principal announced to the attendees at a Jazz concert that a family member came to the school to express appreciation for its support during this tragedy. And also I have on good authority that at least one person in one of the jazz bands had Mr. Mullan as a baseball coach. There may have been others.
-Eckstein dad

NESeattleMom said...

I also drove the same path at a later hour in bright sun on Wednesday and the sun was quite high in the sky much later in the afternoon, definitely not in my eyes at all. Even though 33rd is at the top of the hill, it is after the crest of the hill so when you reach 33rd it has flattened out a bit.