David Jones, an associate professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, died Saturday afternoon when he fell through a rickety set of stairs between the JFK/UMass T station and Old Colony Avenue.
The Dorchester Reporter reports State Police found a missing stair above Jones's body after they and Transit Police responded around 1:30 p.m.
Despite their proximity to the train station, the MBTA says the stairs belong to the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. The Reporter says a sign with MBTA branding at one end of the stairs said they were scheduled to be closed until "Fall, 2020." The Suffolk County District Attorney's office is now handling the investigation into what State Police called "an unintended death."
Jones, 40, joined the School of Public Health faculty in 2014 and specialized in the politics and social issues related to public health. In a message to the School of Public Health on Sunday, Dean Sandro Galea wrote:
In truth I have no words to describe the devastation of this news. David joined the School of Public Health in 2014. He has, since then, been an exemplary member of our 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. And above all David was a wonderful human being, living with integrity and a deep commitment to all we do. I have so loved all my interactions with David, I cannot really imagine what it means to not have David as part of our community.
Friends have set up a GoFundMe page for his wife and three children.