Local News

Duke Graduate Student Dies After Late-Night Car Crash

Posted June 7, 2004 3:06 a.m. EDT

— An electrical engineering graduate student at Duke University died early Monday from injuries sustained in a car accident late Sunday.

Zhaochun Xu, 31, and his wife, Yuan Liu, were involved in the two-car accident around 10:05 p.m. Sunday on U.S. 15-501 between the Cornwallis Road and N.C. 751 exits.

Xu was killed in the crash. His wife suffered injuries and was listed in fair condition at an area hospital. The driver and passenger in the other car are also recovering.

Xu, a citizen of China, was a member of the

Fitzpatrick Center for Photonics and Communications,

where he worked with professor David Brady. He was scheduled to receive his Ph.D. in May 2005.

"Zhaochun was a brilliant signal processor, working on mathematical data analysis for a new kind of optical biomedical sensor to enable in-vivo blood tests," said Brady, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. "Zhaochun wanted to be a university faculty member, and I believe he would have been very successful at that. He was undoubtedly one of the most brilliant students I've ever had."

"The Pratt community is saddened by the death of Zhaochun Xu," said Kristina Johnson, dean of the

Pratt School of Engineering

at Duke. "It is a particular tragedy when someone so young with so much potential passes away. We extend our deepest sympathies to his spouse, Yuan Liu, and their families."

Xu was pinned inside his vehicle, a 2002 Toyota Corolla, for about 45 minutes. Details for a memorial service are being worked out.