Family of Professor Who Fell Through Staircase Speaks Out After His 'Sudden' and 'Tragic' Death

Dr. David Jones died Saturday after he fell through a gap in a public staircase, which was closed off due to maintenance and disrepair

David K. Jones
David K. Jones with his family. Photo: GoFundMe

The family of a Boston University professor who died after falling through a gap in a closed public staircase is speaking out.

In a statement issued through BU, Dr. David Jones' family — including his wife Sarah Sacuto and their three kids, Olivia, Anne and Thomas — said they were devastated by his sudden passing.

"Our lives were changed forever last weekend with the sudden, tragic, and preventable passing of our beloved father, husband, son, brother David Kline Jones," the statement read, in part. "David cared wholly and deeply about people, about communities, and about humanity. He knew that the love and care we have for each other is reflected in how safe and nurturing every community is."

"David was a champion for high-quality equitable education and healthcare for all," they went on. "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."

"David's life was shaped by his kindness and compassion for others, and we are grateful for the lasting impact that he has made in his professional and personal relationships," they finished. "He meant the world to us, and we thank you again for your incredible support."

David K. Jones
Dr. David K. Jones. Boston University School of Public Health

Jones, an associate professor in the Department of Health Law, Policy and Management at BU's School of Public Health, was found dead on Saturday near the JFK/UMass Red Line T station on Saturday. He was 40.

Massachusetts State Police told The Boston Globe that the staircase he was found underneath was "deemed unsafe and closed for approximately 20 months." The closed-off stairway was blocked by a wire fence, a chain-link fence, and other barriers, authorities said.

New warning signs are now around the staircase, according to CBSN Boston.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Sacuto said that her "beloved" husband had "left for his long run yesterday and never returned."

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins confirmed in a statement on Monday that the the investigation into his death is ongoing: "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," Rollins added.

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Following Jones' death, a GoFundMe page was set up on behalf of his family. So far, it has raised over $125,000.

A Facebook page, titled In Memory of David Kline Jones, was also set up to help people share memories of Jones and celebrate his life.

In a statement on their website, Boston University announced that they would be holding a memorial for Jones on Thursday, Sept. 23 from 3-5 p.m. where loved ones can "be together to mourn and to celebrate his life."

In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family has asked people to consider donating to the GoFundMe.

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