Hopkins Student Dies Of Injuries

Police Searching For Driver Of Pickup That Struck Miriam Frankl, 20, Friday

October 18, 2009|By Liz Bowie | Liz Bowie,Liz.bowie@baltsun.com

A 20-year-old Johns Hopkins University student, who was struck by a hit-and-run driver Friday afternoon as she tried to cross St. Paul Street, died early Saturday with her parents at her side, according to city police and university officials.

The driver of the white Ford F-250 was traveling at a high rate of speed north in a narrow lane on the east side of the 3500 block of St. Paul St., according to Agent Donny Moses, a Baltimore police spokesman. Witnesses reported to police that the male driver never stopped after the accident but continued north and made an illegal left turn onto East University Parkway, Moses said.

Miriam Frankl, a junior molecular and cell biology major from the Chicago area, was surrounded by dozens of friends at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where she was taken after the accident at 3:15 p.m. Friday.

Frankl had serious head wounds, as well as other injuries, Moses said. She remained on life support, dying at 2:30 a.m.

The university released a statement Saturday saying Frankl's parents "told us they were deeply moved and comforted by the presence of so many of Miriam's friends at the hospital with them."

"Every student contributes in no small measure to the community we create together at Johns Hopkins. The loss of any student, particularly in so tragic and senseless a manner, grievously wounds us all," read the letter to students, faculty and staff that was written by three Hopkins deans.

The death of Frankl, who was a member of Alpha Phi sorority, coincided with Hopkins' Greek Weekend. Organizers postponed events and asked that participants at other events wear red in honor of Frankl and to support her sorority sisters.

Anna Johnston, a senior at Hopkins and one of her friends, said five or six of her good friends gathered at the hospital shortly after the accident, but as the evening wore on 70 Hopkins students came to be with her and her family.

"She had a lot of strength and personality and had a lot of confidence," said Johnston. Her favorite color was purple, and friends around the Hopkins campus began wearing small purple ribbons Saturday in her memory.

A petite woman with freckles and short brown hair, Frankl had recently become interested in science and had begun working at a Hopkins laboratory that studied the brain. While Johnston said Frankl spent a lot of time in the library, she also was devoted to working with the sorority and was supposed to plan the recruitment of new members in December.

Johnston said her friend was very poised, loved scarves and getting other women interested in the sorority. She was learning to cook and Johnston believes she might have been on her way to a Greek Weekend cook-off when she was struck.

A memorial service for Frankl is expected to be held on the campus, although the arrangements are not complete.

Police are still searching for the pickup truck, which a witness said had damage to the right passenger side from the accident and a sticker on the back that read "Tate Engineering," according to Moses. The truck also had damage to the rear, although that might have occurred before the incident on Friday, police said.

A witness wrote down the license tag, which is MD 94W412, and described the driver as a white male, Moses said. The truck is registered to an individual in Carroll County, he said.

It's not clear whether the driver was at fault, Moses said. However, it is a crime to leave the scene of an accident, he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call 410-396-2606, the accident investigation unit.

Baltimore Sun reporter Liz F. Kay contributed to this article.

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