EVERETT — An Everett woman who was killed in a crash near Pleasant Street and Broadway on Saturday afternoon was well-known in the neighborhood as a “very kind soul” who cared about helping her city.
The woman was walking when she was struck by a car at 4:52 p.m., Everett police said in a statement. She was taken to Whidden Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The woman was identified as Sarah Nason by Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office on Sunday night.
Jonathan McNeil, 31, of Charlestown was arrested by Everett police, according to a statement from Ryan’s office, and is facing charges of operating under the influence of drugs and causing serious bodily injury, operating under the influence of drugs, and possession of a class B substance.
Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said in an e-mail that Nason was a “vibrant” and “well-respected” woman in the city.
“She was a friend to our city and to me and some of my staff at City Hall,” said DeMaria. “She was always very dedicated to our city, you would see her daily in her neighborhood, which sometimes stretched further than her immediate neighborhood, cleaning and picking up trash.”
Nason was knowledgeable on city politics and would talk with the mayor on city issues, he said.
“She was in her 70s, but you would never know it,” DeMaria said.
Neighbors said Nason lived on the opposite end of Pleasant Street from the crash site, and that everyone in the area knew her because she walked around the neighborhood to pick up trash and cans littered in the roadway.
“She did it for the city,” said Emmanuel Quinones, the manager of a Dunkin’ Donuts near the crash scene. “She liked to help the city. She liked to keep the city clean.”
Nason visited the Dunkin’ Donuts frequently, sometimes three or four times a day, Quinones said. She would often order a bagel with peanut butter.
Beverly Leonard, 60, has lived in a house across the street from the Nason for her entire life, and recalled that she was “a little eccentric” but also articulate and intelligent.
“She just enjoyed talking to us,” Leonard said. “She was a very kind soul.”
On Sunday afternoon, three bouquets of flowers were on Nason’s doorstep. There, Leonard’s sister Patricia stood, looking on with tears in her eyes. Though she lives in Manhattan now, Patricia grew up in Everett and became close to Nason.
“A two-minute conversation would turn into 30,” Patricia, 45, said, adding that Nason was a history buff who would talk to her about Abigail Adams and the Revolutionary War. They would also discuss opera.
On Sunday, police said that an investigation was ongoing and the driver was still in custody, but they would not release any further information.
McNeil is expected to be arraigned in Malden District Court on Monday, according to Ryan’s office.
Everett police, State Police, and the Middlesex district attorney’s office are investigating the crash, the statement from police said.
Nason did more than clean up trash from the street. She would sometimes go out with a broom and sweep debris like broken glass away from residents’ cars, said another neighbor, Nick Raczynski.
Raczynski has two children, and he said Nason “always made sure she said ‘hi’ to them.”
Neighbors said Nason’s husband died a few years ago and they had no children.
Melissa Hanson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .