Miesha Alleyne loved to take photos of herself and the people she cared about.
Bored, happy or sad, the certified nursing assistant often could be found holding up her phone and taking pictures of the people who made up her world, family friend Jodi Robinson said.
Alleyne, of Overland Park, took selfies with Sydney, her 3-year-old daughter, whom she doted on.
She took photos with her mother, Stacey Alleyne, whom strangers often mistook to be her sister.
Miesha Alleyne took images of herself, a former Shawnee Mission South High student whom friends on social media called “goofy,” “sweet” and always smiling.
“Miesha was a light in everyone’s life,” said friend Senita Arterbery of Kansas City. She had known Alleyne since 1998. “If you met her, then she impacted you in some kind of way. She was loving, caring, forgiving, and the most nonjudgmental person that I have ever known.”
On Thursday, a day after Alleyne, 25, died in a two-car collision in Olathe, friends and family continued to process the news of her death.
“She was the most respectful person,” said Brieana Stuteville of Kansas City, Kan., who met Alleyne three years ago and recently attended the Rockfest music festival at Liberty Memorial with her. “She had such a big heart. She was always looking out for the interests of others. She wanted the best for everyone. She’s the kind of person that would give the shirt off her back to anyone.”
Alleyne’s joy extended to work as a CNA at the Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital in Gardner, Kan., Stuteville said. She recalled Alleyne recently laughing and smiling about a party at the nursing home.
But Alleyne also could be deeply sensitive, fueled by her desire to help people, close friend Cleo Trotter of Leawood said. Sometimes after work, Alleyne would text Trotter about things that made Alleyne sad — lonely people growing old, patients struggling with their aging bodies.
“She would tell me the stories she would have with them, the connection she would have with them,” Trotter said Thursday.
The pair met 20 years ago on a Lenexa playground and quickly became inseparable, Trotter said. They roamed the neighborhood as children, spending time together after school and seeking out junk food.
When they grew older and could drive, they hung out together. Alleyne like gatherings, Trotter said. Alleyne was the social one, good at making friends and impatient with the petty arguments that often arise among friends. Campfires, bonfires, concerts — if there was a crowd gathered, she wanted to be there. Trotter was more standoffish but fiercely protective of Alleyne.
The friends learned they were pregnant in their early 20s about the same time and had due dates days apart. Alleyne’s daughter, Sydney, was born prematurely, and Alleyne named her after her deceased maternal grandfather.
“Sydney was her life,” Robinson, the family friend, said. “She woke up for Sydney.”
Trotter and Alleyne explored motherhood together, taking Sydney and Trotter’s son, Elias, to each other’s houses and on outings to the Plaza.
Recently, several family friends said, Alleyne injured her arm. She took Monday and Tuesday off from her job to rest. Alleyne left work and headed home Wednesday after struggling with lifting needed for work.
The car she was driving collided with another car on Pflumm Road. The other driver’s injuries were not life-threatening. Police informed Alleyne’s brother, Tavon, and her grandmother, Dotsy, at their home, Robinson said. Her brother took on the task of informing other family members.
A vigil organized by Robinson is planned for 7:30 p.m. Friday evening at the crash site, on the 14900 block of Pflumm Road.
“We want people to notice. We want that street widened,” Robinson said. “We don’t want anyone to have to go through this tragedy.”
A GoFundMe account has been created to help the Alleyne family pay for funeral expenses. As of Thursday afternoon, $2,050 had been donated toward a goal of $15,000.
According to the page, Alleyne also leaves behind “her mom Stacey, her dad Charles, her step dad Tim, her grandmother Dotsy (Mema), her brother Tavon, her sister Dominique, and many more family and friends.”
On Thursday, Trotter laughed as she told stories of her adventures with Alleyne, until she recalled the last conversation they had. The pair talked frequently and often told each other they loved each other in messages. That morning, Trotter said, was no different.
“The last thing we said was we loved each other,” she said, her voice breaking. “You think you are going to be able to say it later, and you get a call saying that you can’t.”
Others left similar messages of shock and sorrow on Alleyne’s Facebook page Thursday.
On the social media site, in the spot where users can provide alternative names, Alleyne had previously written “HappyMother.”
A celebration of life vigil is planned for 7:30 p.m Friday at the crash site at the 14900 block of Pflumm Road.