A Boston University professor died on Saturday, Sept. 11, after falling through a gap in rusted-out stairs at the JFK/UMass train station.
David Jones, 40, lived in Milton and was an associate professor at Boston University’s Department of Health Law, Policy and Management.
A colleague of Jones, Michael Ulrich stated that many people described Jones as inspiring.
“I don’t think there’s any person who had a bad word to say about him, or even had a negative experience with him,” Ulrich stated in an article written by Boston.com.
The Dean of the School of Public Health at BU, Sandro Galea, said in a statement quoted by an article written by Boston.com, “He cared for the students, and the students really loved him. He was a wonderful colleague to many in our community.”
Jones leaves behind his wife and three children. His wife, Sarah Sacuto, wrote in a social media post, “He was the most loving, kind, considerate person I knew. He was the best father. He loved to dance to Phish, be outdoors, and run. He loved unconditionally and was the proudest father to his kids. I loved him.”
A GoFundMe campaign for Jones’ wife and children was set up, and as of Monday, Sept. 13, it has raised over $71,000, with a goal of raising $100,000.
Jones’ body was found on Saturday, Sept. 11, early in the afternoon by a passerby. He was found underneath the stairs connecting Old Colony Road and the Columbia Road Overpass.
The stairs have been closed for around 20 months. Wire fencing covers the top of the stairs near Columbia Road and the bottom of the stairs near Old Colony Road, and there is a large gap between steps in the rusted out stairs.
State police are investigating Jones’ death. As of Wednesday, Sept. 15, there have been no updates into the investigation of Jones’ death.
Suffolk District Attorney Rachel Rollins said in a statement, “We continue to look at how Dr. Jones accessed a stairway that had been closed for some 20 months. Whether accidental or intentional, any death is a tragedy and the harm to loved ones is the same. While the investigation is ongoing, we are available to offer his family support and connect them to community resources through our victim witness assistance program.”
Jones’ family said in a statement to the Boston University School of Public Health, “Our lives were changed forever last weekend [weekend of Sept. 11] with the sudden, tragic and preventable passing of our beloved father, husband, son, brother David Kline Jones. He cherished each and every one of his students and colleagues. He loved to have deep conversations where he would listen intently to try to understand the perspective of others and share his ideas.”
Dean Sandro Galea wrote in his statement to the Boston University campus community, “He was founding Editor-in-Chief of the Public Health Post, he was awarded AUPHA’s John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators, AcademyHealth’s Outstanding Dissertation Award, and the BU School of Public Health Excellence in Teaching Award. He cared deeply about bridging research and policy, and conducted work in places as far as France and the Mississippi Delta.”
Galea stated, “He really left behind a wonderful legacy.”