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No Criminal Charges in Death of BU Professor Who Fell Through Staircase

David Jones, 40, of Milton, was out for a run when he fell to his death on Sept. 11, 2021, through a broken section of staircase on MBTA property at JFK Station

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No criminal charges will be filed in the death of a Boston University professor who fell about 20 feet through a rusted-out staircase near an MBTA train station last September.

Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden announced Friday that his office has completed its investigation into the tragic death of David K. Jones, who fell to his death on Sept. 11, 2021, through a broken section of staircase on MBTA property at JFK Station.

Jones, a 40-year-old avid runner, was on a run when he attempted to ascend the unrepaired stairs, which had been blocked off and unattended for more than a year.

A professor at Boston University was found dead below a staircase near the JFK/UMass MBTA station in Dorchester.

“Any death is a tragedy and his family, loved ones, students, and colleagues continue to mourn his untimely passing,” Hayden said in a statement. “Based on a thorough and careful review of the evidence, however, we have determined that criminal charges are not warranted in connection with Dr. Jones’ death.”

Jones, who lived in Milton, Massachusetts, with his wife and three children, was an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Law, Policy and Management at Boston University’s School of Public Health. His research focused on the politics of health reform and the social determinants of health.

The death of Jones was investigated by state police and the district attorney, who said at the time they were looking at how Jones accessed the stairway that had been closed for some 20 months after being deemed unsafe. Both the top and bottom of the stairs had been blocked off.

The death of a Boston University professor near the JFK MBTA stop is under investigation.

In the aftermath of his sudden death, Jones was remembered by his wife, Sarah Sacuto, as the "most loving, kind, considerate person" and "best father," who "loved to dance to Phish, be outdoors, and run. He loved unconditionally and was the proudest father to his kids."

In a statement released just days after the fatal incident, Jones' family called his death a "tragic and preventable passing."

Jones had an undergraduate degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and advanced degrees from the University of North Carolina and the University of Michigan, his university profile showed.

He was originally from New York City, where he once worked as a pretzel vendor at Yankee Stadium, the university said.

He was founding editor-in-chief of the Public Health Post, an online forum for public health policy launched in November 2016; was awarded an Association of University Programs in Health Administration prize for young investigators; AcademyHealth’s Outstanding Dissertation Award; and the BU School of Public Health Excellence in Teaching Award.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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