Student dead after car crash

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Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013 6:24 pm | Updated: 1:18 pm, Fri Oct 25, 2013.

St. Edward’s University student, Emily Palmer-Dunham, died early Wednesday morning in a car accident on MoPac Boulevard. 

Palmer-Dunham, 26, was a native of Iowa, and a senior studying Photocommunications.

Palmer-Dunham was driving a Honda Civic southbound on the northbound lanes of the highway near Duval Road when she hit a Chevrolet Malibu head on. She was traveling 80 mph and was pronounced dead at the scene at about 12:52 a.m. on Oct. 23.

The 48-year-old man driving the Malibu has been identified as Robert Murphy. He was also pronounced dead after being rushed to St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, according to the Austin Police Department.

A third person driving a Nissan Rogue was also involved in the accident. The driver of the Rogue and a passenger were treated at the scene.

St. Edward’s University spokeswoman Mischelle Diaz said Palmer-Dunham's family had been notified.

An autopsy was performed and toxicology test results will take a few weeks to come back, according to the Travis County Medical Examiner's office.

Bill Kennedy, associate professor Photocommunications, described Palmer-Dunham as a bright light and an inspiration.

“Emily was a very talented photographer with a bright future,” Kennedy said. “She had a hardworking reputation and led by example.”

Nolan Green, a senior Photocommunications major, described the students in his field as a close family devastated as news of the death of one of their own reached them Wednesday.

“We’re such a small community,” Green said. “There are only 15-18 students in this year’s graduating class, so something like this really hits hard, especially to those close to her."

Both Green and Kennedy said they will remember Palmer-Dunham for her work ethic, the effort she put into her friendships and her positive approach to life.

“Emily had a lot of talent as an artist and a photographer,” Green said. “She hit her stride in her senior year. She was really coming into her own.”

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