Drunk driving caused visiting scholar’s death

Feb. 2, 2011, 2:00 a.m.

Visiting scholar Rune Nielsen, 25, had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit when he was killed in a car crash on Dec. 18, according to a Palo Alto Police Department report released Tuesday.

Nielsen was driving between 50 and 60 mph southbound on Middlefield Rd., in an area that has a 25 mph speed limit. After striking a sign on the west side of the street, Nielsen’s car struck a tree and bounced off a parked car before coming to rest in front of a home near Hawthorne Ave. Paramedics pronounced him dead when they arrived at the scene at 12:50 a.m.

At Stanford, Nielsen worked in the mechanical engineering department under associate professor Beth Pruitt, conducting research as part of the Stanford Microsystems Laboratory. Nielsen is survived by his father Kjeld Nielsen, his stepmother, Susanne Lundberg and his stepsister Emma Lundberg, all from Copenhagen. His memorial was held on Jan. 20 in Memorial Church.

Ivy Nguyen

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