Boston University professor David Jones was reportedly killed over the weekend when his family says he fell through a rusted-out flight of stairs while on a run in Dorchester. Jones’ wife wrote in a Facebook post that he was out for a run when he “accidentally accessed a flight of stairs” near the JFK/UMass Boston MBTA stop.
The stairs were rusted through and Jones fell about 20 feet to the ground.
Police said the incident happened Saturday around 1:30 p.m.
His body was found under the stairs by a passerby who called the police.
Massachusetts State Police said the stairs had been deemed unsafe and had been closed for about 20 months. A jersey barrier and chain link fence blocked the top entrance to Columbia Road.
Who was David Jones?
David Jones has been named as the Boston University professor who was reportedly found deceased near the JFK/UMass MBTA station on September 11, police have confirmed. According to reports, Jones fell from a gap on a rusted flight of stairs at the station that was closed for over 20 months. He was from Milton.
It’s unclear how he was able to access the stairs, given that it was cordoned off.
His death has left behind a large void, with condolence messages pouring in from students of the university.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 14, 2021
How old was David Jones?
David Jones was 40 years old at the time of death.
David Jones Boston University
The father, who is survived by three children, was an associate professor in the BU School of Public Health.
Being a New York City resident, Jones began as a pretzel vendor at the Yankee Stadium.
From there, he managed to snag internships at the Idaho Legislature, the Canadian House of Commons, and Congressman Charlie Rangel’s district office in NYC. He then went on to obtain a B.A. from McGill University, an MSPH from the University of North Carolina, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
A public health policy expert, Jones joined BU in 2014 and was tapped as the founding editor in chief of Public Health Post just a year later. He has published numerous works on healthcare policy.
He published his own book titled ‘Exchange Politics: Opposing Obamacare in the Battleground States’. At the time of his death, he was working on another book about the social determinants of health in the Mississippi Delta.
Dr. David Jones earned his master’s degree in our @unchpm department. His former adviser says, “David was an incredible person who was already establishing himself as a nationally recognized scholar. He was also remarkably decent and kind.” https://t.co/5Hw1I5OQ5M
— UNC Public Health (@UNCpublichealth) September 14, 2021
David Jones Wife, Family
Described as a “wonderful human being”, Jones was also the recipient of numerous awards both from BU and outside. Jones’ wife Sarah recently overcame her battle with cancer, following surgery.
He leaves behind three daughters and numerous devastated students and colleagues. ”
I have no words to describe the devastation of this news,” the SPH Sandro Galea wrote in an email.
David Jones Death
Boston University is planning a memorial service for Jones sometime next week.
Investigation ongoing in death of Boston University professor Dr. David Jones, in incident involving closed stairs near JFK/UMass T station, DA says https://t.co/lEUFSLB0pu
— masslivenews (@masslivenews) September 14, 2021
David Jones Boston Accident
Sarah said Jones had gone out for a run on September 11, in a Facebook post. It is unclear what happened next, but at around 1:30 PM, his body was found under a gap in the stairs at the Red Line station in Dorchester.
Sarah says Jones “accidentally” accessed the staircase, which has prompted officials to take a closer look.
“The stairs had been deemed unsafe and closed for approximately 20 months,” the police said.
Before Jones’ death, the stair was cordoned off with at both the top and bottom.
It was determined he fell from the stairs after detectives “observed a gap in the stairs above the victim.
Following his death, security has been tightened with extra fencing and a concrete block, as well as multiple signs. “We continue to look at how Dr. Jones accessed a stairway that had been closed for some 20 months.
David Jones Funeral
Whether accidental or intentional, any death is a tragedy and the harm to loved ones is the same,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins. The family has also set up a GoFundMe page to raise finances.
At the time of reporting, it has raised $89,000 of its $100,000 goal.
On September 13, the SPH hosted a memorial gathering via Zoom.
Update: What We Know So Far
According to The Boston Globe, the set of stairs at the station has had numerous missing steps for months, dating back to at least November 2020. From January 2020 until March 2021, MTBA officials posted 37 alerts via Twitter that the stairs were inaccessible and directed them to use other ways to access the station.
Local residents confirm the staircase has been in disrepair for years.
The MTBA said the staircase is maintained by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.