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The investigation continues into the death of the BU professor;  MassDOT further blocks access to stairs


A memorial is planned at the university for those mourning the loss of David K. Jones.

Warning signs and a taller fence were put up after the BU professor fell from the stairs and died over the weekend. John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe

  • The investigation continues into the death of the BU professor;  MassDOT further blocks access to stairs

    BU professor dies after falling down stairs in front of JFK / UMass MBTA station

The investigation continues into how a Boston University professor tragically died in an enclosed staircase near the JFK / UMass MBTA station in Boston.

Meanwhile, additional fences have been put up around the ruined stairs to prevent the same from happening to someone else.

David K. Jones, 40, of Milton was found dead Saturday afternoon at 599 Old Colony Ave .; a passer-by saw him on the ground under the rusty metal staircase that was used to connect Old Colony Avenue and the Columbia Road overpass. A large gap could be seen on the stairs above where Jones was found. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“A preliminary investigation found that the stairs had been deemed unsafe and closed for about 20 months,” State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said Monday.

It was in January 2020 that a fence was placed around the steps and a cement barricade was put in place to deter pedestrians from using the stairs. A sign was also installed at the nearby train station indicating the closure of the stairs, according to a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

After Jones’ death, the department used an emergency contract to add more security measures overnight Monday. The investigation is still ongoing, said the spokesperson.

“We continue to examine how Dr Jones accessed a staircase that had been closed for about 20 months,” Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a statement Monday evening. “Whether accidental or intentional, every death is a tragedy and the harm to loved ones is the same. While the investigation is ongoing, we are available to offer support to her family and connect them with community resources through our Victim / Witness Assistance Program. ”

Meanwhile, members of the Boston University community continue to mourn their loss. Jones was an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Law, Policy and Management at the BU.

A memorial is planned on Thursday 23 September from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hiebert Lounge or via Zoom.

Those who knew him described Jones as an inspiration and someone willing to give of his time.

“He just took time for everyone – students, teachers; he was truly one of the most selfless people I have ever met, ”said Michael Ulrich, a colleague and friend of Jones, earlier this week.

A GoFundMe has been set up for the benefit of Jones’ family. As of Wednesday afternoon, he had raised over $ 117,000 with a stated goal of $ 200,000.