Bikers rev engines for Imperial Sugar victims

Over 140 bikers showed up at the Harley Davidson store on Savannah's southside.
Over 140 bikers showed up at the Harley Davidson store on Savannah's southside.

By Melanie Ruberti - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It's been almost five months since the explosion at Imperial Sugar. While many victims of the explosion have come home, some have not. One group decided to rev up their engines to help those families out.

It didn't take long for the parking lot at the Harley Davidson store on Savannah's southside to fill up. Over 140 bikers revved up their engines for one ride, helping families of the Imperial Sugar explosion along the way.

Bible Baptist associate pastor, Tommy East, helped coordinate the ride. Some members of his congregation worked at the plant and were hurt in the blast. He was there for them that night, but wanted to do more.

"To see the hurt, the pain they were dealing with, especially when you would hear of a family member who had gone to the burn center," said East. "Just a tough time. And those kinds of things stick in your heart and mind.. Just because the event is over, doesn't mean the needs aren't over."

And the idea for the ride was born. Riders from as far away as Ohio came down to lend a hand. The goal was to raise $5,000 for the families affected by the refinery explosion. They'll be cutting a check for $5,400 this week.

Survivors like Walter Maxwell are home, but still recovering from his burns. He says to see the community gather for him and his fallen co-workers gives them strength to go on.

"It still helps support us," said Maxwell. "Gives us the motivation to get well quicker. It let's you know people are still thinking about you, it's not forgotten."

They are not forgotten. The members of Bible Baptist and those who rode are making sure of that. Their support and compassion are what truly make them this week's WTOC Hometown Heroes.