Hopkins rheumatologist killed in hit-and-run crash near Green Spring Station in Baltimore County

A 35-year-old Johns Hopkins rheumatologist was killed in a hit-and-run crash involving three vehicles near Green Spring Station late Saturday night, police said, and officers have arrested a driver who left the scene.

Dr. Nadia Dominique Morgan, a Jamaican-born recipient of the 2016 American College of Rheumatology Distinguished Fellow Award and a faculty member at Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center, was killed in a collision just before 11 p.m. at Falls and Green Spring Valley roads, police said.

Baltimore County Police have charged Jason William Hines, 31, of the 200 block of Joppa Road. Hines is being held at the Baltimore County Department of Corrections on denied-bail status.

Morgan, who lived in the 1000 block of Park Ave., near the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, had been driving a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek south on Falls Road through a green light in the intersection, when a 2006 Acura TSX headed east on Green Spring Valley Road struck her car, forcing it into a third vehicle, which also was headed south, police said.

Morgan was pronounced dead at the scene by Baltimore County Fire Department medics, police said. As the Subaru became engulfed in flames, the driver of the Acura TSX crashed into a fire hydrant and left the scene on foot, only to be arrested later, police said.

The driver and a passenger of the third vehicle refused medical treatment, police said. The county police department’s crash team is investigating, and anyone with information may call 410-307-2020.

It was the second fatal hit-and-run crash in Baltimore County in the past week, following one that killed 20-year-old Towson University student Mzimazisi Ncube, a 2016 Gaithersburg High School graduate, on North Charles Street in Towson on Dec. 8.

Police announced the arrest of a suspect in that incident Sunday.

Morgan, an instructor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, received her doctorate degree at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, and completed an internal medicine residency at the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, serving an additional year as chief resident, according to her father, Alton Morgan, and an online Hopkins biography.

Her father, a real estate attorney in Jamaica, said she had grown up there and moved to the U.S. in 2010 to do the residency at SUNY Downstate. He called her an “exceptional person.”

“We’re still in shock,” Alton Morgan said Sunday.

While completing her fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University, she also earned a master’s degree in health science in clinical investigation from the university’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Morgan was “an extraordinarily warm, talented and promising member of our community who gave so much to everyone around her,” said Ken Willis, a Johns Hopkins Medicine spokesman.

"We are deeply saddened by the devastating news about Dr. Nadia Morgan,” Willis said in a statement. “Her death is an enormous loss to the entire Johns Hopkins Medicine family, and to the many patients and colleagues who benefited from her skills and commitment.”

Morgan was the principal investigator in a research project titled "Interleukin-13 and Scleroderma in African Americans," for which she had received a grant from the Rheumatology Research Foundation.

“Dr. Morgan's primary research interest is in factors contributing to the severe fibrotic manifestations of systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) in populations of African ancestry,” the biography says.

She explained the condition and her research in a Hopkins promotional video posted Aug. 30.

“My specific expertise lies in a condition called systemic sclerosis, also known as scleroderma, which literally means ‘hard skin,’” Morgan says in the video. “The hallmark of this condition is tightening and scarring, or fibrosis, of the skin, but it’s so much more than skin deep, because the internal organs can be affected as well, leading to overall dysfunction.”

Rheumatology patients often require continuing care, which allows the physicians treating them to build a relationship with them, she says in the video.

“I really love interacting with my patients,” she says. “It allows you the chance to get to know them, to build a rapport, to build trust as you follow them in their journey towards helping to get them better.”

Morgan also was a member of the American College of Rheumatology and had been serving a three-year term on the college’s Registries and Health Information Technology committee.

Morgan loved her family and flew home to visit them in Jamaica at least three times a year, said an aunt, Althea Morgan-Belcher of Prince George’s County.

Morgan and her sister, Dionne, had planned to fly back on Friday for the holidays, Morgan-Belcher said.

“She was very nice, very intelligent, loved her family immensely, and was home every chance she got,” Morgan-Belcher said.

Another aunt, Audrey McIntosh, choked up as she talked about her niece on the phone.

“She was an angel,” McIntosh said. “She was an angel in the form of a human being.”

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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