October 26, 2009

Homewood junior dies of injuries from hit-and-run accident

The Homewood campus is mourning the tragic death of Miriam Frankl, a 20-year-old junior in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, who died in the early morning hours of Saturday, Oct. 17, after being struck by a truck the previous afternoon.

Plans for a memorial service at Homewood are incomplete and will be announced as soon as they are available.

Frankl, a molecular and cell biology major from Wilmette, Ill., was trying to cross St. Paul Street when struck by a hit-and-run driver in what witnesses and the police described as a speeding white Ford F-250, traveling north in the narrow lane on the east side of the street. Taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center with serious head wounds and other injuries, Frankl was put on life support and died at 2:30 a.m. with her parents and many of her friends—70 of whom had come to the hospital—by her side.

“Everyone who knew her loved her. She just had a sparkling personality, and everyone was a friend of hers,” Frankl’s Alpha Phi sorority sister Allie Rosenwasser told a WMAR-TV reporter. “We haven’t even begun to feel the loss of her as a leader, not only in our sisterhood but as a presence on campus.”

Frankl, who was helping conduct ALS research in the School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology, was the third generation of women in her family to be part of the university’s East Baltimore campus community. Her aunt Rebecca Z. German is a professor in the School of Medicine, and her grandmother Pearl S. German is a professor emerita in the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In a letter to faculty, staff and students, Adam Falk, the James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School; Paula Burger, dean of undergraduate education; and Susan Boswell, dean of student life, said, “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. … We stand in solidarity with [Miriam’s] many Johns Hopkins friends and her Alpha Phi sisters at this most sad and difficult time.”

The pickup truck being sought by the police, whose vehicle description included a license plate number registered to a resident of Carroll County, was found in the Ashburton neighborhood of Baltimore City around midnight on Saturday. Baltimore police arrested the truck’s owner, Thomas Meighan, 39, of Sykesville, Maryland on Saturday.

Funeral services were held Oct. 21 at Beth Emet, The Free Synagogue, in Evanston, Ill., and were reportedly attended by nearly 1,000 people, including 30 of Frankl’s sorority sisters. She is survived by her parents and two younger brothers.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Beth Emet Congregation Soup Kitchen at 1224 W. Dempster St., Evanston, IL 60202 or to the Greater Chicago Food Depository at 4100 W. Ann Lurie Place, Chicago, IL 60632.

An earlier version of this article online and in the print edition misstated Miriam Frankl’s first name. The Gazette regrets the error.