One year ago, a family was devastated when a man driving drunk plowed into them as they crossed NE 75th Street at 33rd Ave NE near Eckstein Middle School. Judy and Dennis Schulte were killed, and their daughter-in-law Karina and week-old grandson Elias were severely injured.
The community was shaken by the tragedy, and the outrage fueled action both on a NE 75th St road safety project and a tightening of state DUI laws. Mark Mullan, the man responsible, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and assault charges.
But while it was good that the government took some action, nothing can change the loss the Schulte family continues to experience. And, of course, there are many more people killed and injured our streets every day, and too many streets in too many neighborhoods that are too dangerous.
So next week, a series of events will memorialize those lost and bring attention to ways to make all our streets safer. The week will be lead by a bunch of organizations, including Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, several Northeast Seattle community councils, SDOT and MADD.
The memorial walk that kicks off the week of events meets at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Top Pot Doughnuts on 35th and will head to the site where the Schulte family was struck. Dan and Marilyn Schulte will be among the speakers, as well as state Senator David Frockt.
The Safe Roads Awareness Week is a week of events organized by several stakeholders (see below for list), including the Wedgwood Community Council, to bring attention to the need for safe roads for all users and policy that supports that goal. The week kicks-off on March 25th with a memorial walk and rally on the one-year anniversary of a tragic drunk driving crash at NE 75th Street and 33rd Ave NE, near Eckstein Middle School, that took the lives the Judy and Dennis Schulte and seriously injured their 10-day-old grandson, Elias, and daughter-in-law Karina Ulriksen-Schulte. Events throughout the week will bring attention to DUI prevention, distracted driving prevention, safe speeds, and sharing the road. The week will conclude on Friday, March 28, with the official launch of the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project. A full list of the events during the Safe Roads Awareness Week are available on a printable flyer below.