A line of cars stretched along Old Buena Vista Road, from an elementary school to the site of what used to be a thriving market.
Dozens of community members gathered Friday in Rockbridge County to remember three members of the Roberts family, who ran the popular gas station and market for decades.
On May 10, an explosion ripped through the South River Market, killing four people: owner Roger Lee Roberts, his son, Kevin Roberts, and granddaughter, Samantha Roberts Lewis, and customer Paul Ruley.
The Roberts family held a celebration of life at the nearby Mountain View Elementary School. Earlier that day, the family held a funeral service in Buena Vista.
Virginia State Police continue to investigate the cause of the blast.
After the community memorial, some family and friends stopped outside the burned-out market. Flowers, natural and artificial, and flags, U.S. and Confederate, blanket a chain-link fence surrounding the site.
A couple pointed out the bouquet they left. Another read signs of remembrance. One man walked up and down the fence, smelling flowers.
1 of 6
Annie McNeil and Kenneth Stuart of Buena Vista on Friday stand at the decorated site of the South River Market in Rockbridge County, where a May 10 explosion caused deaths and injuries. McNeil and Stuart had come from a memorial service at Mountain View Elementary School earlier on Friday. “We are community oriented and stick together,” Stuart said.
Cars lined the shoulder of Old Buena Vista Road in Rockbridge County, several yards from the Mountain View Elementary School where a memorial service was held on Friday afternoon, near the site of the South River Market where three family members and one customer died in a fatal explosion earlier this month.
Hunters, fishermen and others from the community could find a variety of goods at the South River Market in Rockbridge County. A fence surrounding the site of the deadly explosion has become a memorial to those who died and were injured on May 10.
The fence surrounding the explosion site of the South River Market in Rockbridge County has become a memorial wall to those who died and were injured.
Mary Watts (right) and her sister, Barbara Roberts Camden, visit the site on Friday of the May 10 South River Market explosion where four died, including their nephew, Roger Roberts. “I wish there was something we could do. We’re just praying for them and they’ve gone to heaven,” Watts said. “Everyone would come here for different things. They even sold clocks. I bought a Dallas Cowboys clock for my son and a Redskins clock for my husband,” she recalled.
Jesse Boggs and her children Annaliese Boggs, 9 (left), and Sean Boggs, 12 (right), of Lynchburg, visited the site of the South River Market explosion to walk the perimeter of the fence which has become a memorial to those who died and were injured. Reverend Mike Fauber, Jesse Boggs's father, officiated at the cemetery service for the family Friday morning. He was a neighbor of the Roberts. "This was everybody's spot. Everyone drove by here. Everyone knew Roger and Roger knew everyone."