Neenah mother receives inspirational message from daughter days after girl's tragic death

Kenzie Leeman (Photo: KenMar Photography, used with permission)
Kenzie Leeman (Photo: KenMar Photography, used with permission)(WBAY)
Published: Mar. 21, 2019 at 9:37 PM CDT
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Just days after a tragic car crash took the life a Neenah teenager, her mother received a message she never expected and it's now a huge source of inspiration.

Kenzie Leeman, 17, was killed while driving home from work February 26.

Her car slid off a Highway 441 overpass during a snowstorm and fell several feet onto Highway 96 in Little Chute (


As a senior at Appleton East High School, Kenzie had high hopes after graduation. On the night of a crash which took her life, she was on her way home from a part-time job as a nursing assistant.

"She was one of the most amazing people that I think ever walked the face of the earth," said Kenzie's mother, Alyson Peters.

However, it's what happened days after the crash that Peters says is hard to believe.

It started with a text message, and it came while she was revisiting the crash site where a roadside memorial is now set up.

Peters said, "They sent me a picture of a door, and it was crazy. It was Kenzie's old door from her old room."

Written on the door was a quote: "Someday you will look back and know exactly why this had to happen to you."

Peters said, "At that point in time I was a zombie, and it was almost like it just snapped me right out of it, because, I mean, how in the world can that happen that I'm sitting right there and I get this quote from my daughter? It was like she was speaking to me."

Written in erasable marker, the door was in a house Peters used to live in. It was sold a year ago when the family moved from Menasha to Neenah.

It wasn't until after Kenzie's accident that the new owner of the house invited a neighbor over, and during that visit the neighbor not only spotted the writing on the door but also knew the history of the room and who wrote it.

"So we called the lady that bought the house and asked if we could go over, and so she allowed us go over to the house," said Peters, "and I laid on the floor and cried."

She says the owner even allowed her to have the door to take home.

"I don't know if it was a premonition or what it was, but it's certainly helping us get through this time, because we don't know why, but apparently she knows."

The door will be used as part of a memorial in Peters' new house.

She's also established a scholarship fund to benefit students who enroll in the nursing program at Fox Valley Technical College. Already it's raised more than double what was initially expected.

for a link to details about the scholarship.