Man speaks, one year after deadly Wedgwood crash that killed parents


by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MegCoyleKING

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 8:28 PM

SEATTLE -- They are the picture perfect family. But it's only a picture, so it can only tell one part of the Schulte family's story. Their story radically changed one year ago.

"I hope not to have any harder years than this last one was," said Dan Schulte.

It was the afternoon of March 25, 2013. Dan Schulte's parents, wife and newborn son were out on a walk when a drunk driver plowed into them. Dennis and Judy Schulte were killed, their daughter-in-law and baby grandson critically injured.

"At the beginning, we didn't know if either one of them were going to make it," said Schulte.

Several surgeries later, Schulte’s wife Karina and his young son Elias are still recovering. Karina spent seven months in the hospital and continues to improve. Her pelvis and hip were crushed. She suffered a traumatic brain injury followed by a stroke. Schulte says it has affected her speech, but not her spirit.

"Her personality is for the most part all intact and she's still funny, she's very sociable, and people really enjoy being around her. I really enjoy being around her," he said.

Karina and Dan's biggest strength is baby Elias. He was just 10 days old when the accident happened. He recently underwent what his family hopes was his last major surgery to repair skull fractures.

"We do try to celebrate what we do have and Elias makes it very easy to do that. He's a very lovable small boy now," Dan said.

A small boy who just celebrated a big birthday his dad feared he wouldn't see.

"For someone who's gone through so much in his first year, it's hard to really believe that he's this happy," said Schulte.

And that's what's kept Dan going through all of this. Even during the darkest days.

"It's not fair that it had to happen to my family. My wife is not someone that deserved this. My parents didn't deserve it," said Schulte. "I hope that our story will remind people how bad it can be."

On Tuesday, the Schultes will mark the anniversary with a memorial walk and rally near the crash site. 

WHEN: Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
• 3 p.m. Walkers gather at Top Pot Donuts
• 3:15 p.m. Memorial Walk begins
• 4 p.m. Moment of silence at crash site
• 4:15 p.m. Speakers Rally begins

• Starting point: Top Pot Donuts, 6855 35th Ave NE, Seattle
• End point: NE 75th Street & 33rd Ave NE, Seattle
• Eckstein Middle School, 3003 NE 75th St, Seattle, WA 98115 (Front Lawn)


People interested in participating in the walk should gather at or before 3 p.m. at Top Pot Donuts at 6855 35th Ave NE, Seattle. A police escort will accompany the walkers to the end point and location of the rally.