Thousands of Bikers Show Up to 2-Year-old Tennessee Flood Victim’s Memorial Service

by Quentin Blount
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In perhaps the most heartwarming story you will hear all day, thousands of motorcyclists showed up to escort the hearse of a little boy who died in the recent Tennessee floods.

The family of Kellen Burrow Vaughn did not think that so many people would show up. As a matter of fact, Allen Burrow, little Kellen’s grandpa, said that he expected closer to 75 or maybe 100 fellow motorcycle riders to come out in support. But instead, more than10 times that number made their way to Taylor Funeral Home in Dickson, Tennessee.

Allen Burrow spoke to The Tennessean afterward and explained what his grandson was like. Turns out that even though Kellen was just nearing two years old, he had a passion for motorcycles.

“He’s kind of like me,” Burrow explained. “Just every time you hear a bike, you look around, see who it is, see if you know him. He just loved seeing bikes.”

Obviously, the floods nationwide in the wake of Hurricane Ida have been catastrophic. But this story hits close to home for all parents. According to reports, Kellen was ripped away right out of his mother’s arms by the surging floodwaters. She did her best to hang on to a clothesline and her four other kids as the water continued to rise. Kellen’s body was found on Tuesday evening after he was missing for four days.

Fellow Motorcyclist Speaks Out About Local Tragedy

The family of Kellen Burrow posted about his story on social media. They talked about what happened, his love for motorcycles, and even planned a motorcade to escort him to his burial site. And as word about Kellen’s story continued to spread, it managed to reach a wider audience than the family initially thought.

More than a thousand motorcyclists showed up to pay their respects to the little man. One of those people was 52-year-old Shawn McAfee.

“I just seen the little fella’s picture on Facebook and I thought I gotta go show support,” McAfee said. “He like to hear the pipes, so we gotta make them rumble.”

Deputy Mike Webb was also in attendance. He has worked on the force for more than 40 years and said that he’s never seen a funeral gathering quite this size. And he most definitely has never seen that many motorcyclists in one place.

“It was a national news story that this little boy likes bikes,” Webb explained. “His family wanted a turnout. Well, he got a turnout.”

In the end, Kellen’s grandpa says that he was always a happy boy. And that’s how his family will remember him.

He was just always happy,” Burrow continued. “Even when he was mad, he didn’t get mad, just a few minutes and he was happy again.”