A Bay St. Louis firefighter who suffered devastating injuries earlier this year in a motorcycle crash is battling back.
The Mississippi Blue Knights Motorcycle Club on Monday paid it forward, presenting injured fireman Michael Guitreau with the money the club raised for him last month during its benefit pub crawl and car show.
Guitreau was badly injured on April 18 when a car hit him on Hwy. 603 while he was riding his motorcycle to work. Both of his legs were shattered and he suffered multiple internal injuries, requiring a series of arduous surgeries.
"These guys are going out there every day and risking their lives," Blue Knights Chapter President Robert O'Neal -- a former Bay St. Louis police officer -- said before the check presentation at the Main Street fire department on Monday. "This was a totally devastating event that could screw up his career for the rest of his life. … When something like this happens, we step up and help."
The club presented Guitreau and his wife Sierra with a check for $11,224.
"We would like to thank the Blue Knights and everybody in the community who participated," Bay FD Assistant Fire Chief Ron Avery said Monday. "We can get him back on his feet, get him going here. That'll be great -- that's the plan."
Guitreau was able to attend the check presentation Monday in a wheelchair.
Both he and Sierra said it has been a dark time in their lives, but they really appreciate all the support from the community.
"It's been tough," Michael said. "I basically had to start back from square one, back home with my folks, and we've got four little ones. … "I'm progressing slowly. I have a doctor's appointment coming up, and hopefully then I can get released to try to do some walking. After that, it's a lot of therapy."
"We're taking it day by day," Sierra said.
"The continued support and prayers are really appreciated," Michael said. "The whole community has been great."
Anyone who would like to help the Guitreau family or organize another event can contact the Bay St. Louis Fire Department at 228-467-4736.