fb-pixel Skip to main content

The rusted staircase with missing steps where Boston University professor David Jones fell to his death on Sept. 11 has been removed.

The staircase was located near the MBTA’s JFK/UMass Red Line station and connected to the Columbia Road rotary as it passes over Old Colony Avenue some 20 feet below. The removal, which apparently was conducted over the weekend, was first reported by the Dorchester Reporter.

While it was left in place after being closed to the public in January 2020, officials had a concrete barrier positioned on the Columbia Road rotary and metal fencing on Old Colony Avenue to block pedestrian access, according to Baker administration officials.

Advertisement



A section of six steps fell out of the closed staircase. Jones was found about 1:30 p.m. Sept. 11 under the staircase, and apparently died from injuries suffered during the fall, authorities said.

The circumstances of his death remain under investigation by Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins’s office and State Police.

Governor Charlie Baker and administration officials at MassDOT, the MBTA, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation have refused to identify which state agency was responsible for maintaining the staircase after its closure to protect the public.

Baker did address the removal of the stairs on Monday following a meeting with legislative leaders.

“The stairs were taken down by the Commonwealth,” Baker told reporters Monday afternoon. The DOT did the work, but “under our jurisdiction,” he added. “We felt it was important to take them down.”

In an e-mail sent to the Globe at 8 p.m. Monday, a MassDOT spokeswoman wrote that ownership of the stairwell and the property it is built on shifted to MassDOT from the Department of Conservation and Recreation under a 2009 law.

“MassDOT demolished the staircase over the weekend after checking with investigatory authorities,’’ she wrote.

Advertisement



The spokeswoman did not say how much the demolition cost, which company or agency performed the task, or why it wasn’t done before the death of a jogger.

A wake for Jones was held Sunday in Milton.





John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.