Happenstance brought radio host, good Samaritan to Parkway East tragedy
Family and friends of two men killed in a tragic incident along the Parkway East are trying to come to terms with the bizarre happenstance of it all.
“It’s only fitting he lose his life while in service to strangers,” said Danielle Willey said of her friend Landen Jones. “He was one of the most selfless beings – always one to help.”
Jones was apparently helping another man, Jason Jackson, after his car stalled along the parkway.
Jackson was a member of “The Burgh Boyz,” an online radio show focusing on Pittsburgh’s rap and hip-hop scenes. Members set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Jackson’s mother and four children: Jason Jr., Jada, Jaymier and Jayonna.
He went by the nickname “Big Hus,” friends said.
“Jason was funny, always full of energy, and he loved his children,” friends wrote on the donation page.
The incident began when Jackson, 34, thought his 2002 Acura was out of gas near the Oakland exit sometime before 4 p.m. Saturday, investigators believe.
Jones, 39, pulled his 2013 Honda Civic to a stop behind Jackson’s car.
Police said Jones took Jackson to get gas, but they discovered that wasn’t the reason for the stalled car. State police spokeswoman Melinda Bondarenka said they think the two men were outside the cars calling AAA when the driver of a Volkswagen Passat heading east hit Jones’ stopped car.
What happened next is still unclear, Bondarenka said.
However it happened, police said, the men fell 30 to 35 feet to Second Avenue below.
A vehicle headed east on Second Avenue struck both of them. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Willey, who met Jones in high school in Rifle, Colo., said he brightened any room he walked into. They became fast friends, and he even lived with Willey and her family during his senior year.
He loved performing arts and had a wonderful singing voice, she said.
“He won the hearts of all who met him,” Willey said. “I’ve seen elderly women fall in love with his charisma and kindness. I watched the burliest and most athletic college football players pull Landen into bear hugs with requests that he sing them a song.”
A GoFundMe page has also been set up for contributions to Jones’ celebration of life.
Bondarenka said police are still trying to put together a timeline of the incident. Jackson had two passengers, including a child, in his car, but investigators hope others who might have witnessed the incident or been in the area can help fill in the gaps.
No charges have been filed, and police said the investigation is ongoing.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.