The violent crash and brave rescue of a Tennessee Highway Patrolman last month struck a chord with people throughout East Tennessee.
While Sgt. Lowell Russell continues recovering from a long list of injuries, Sunday afternoon a country music singer struck a chord to help the injured trooper.
Former American Idol contestant Bucky Covington attracted a big crowd to Sequoyah High School in Madisonville on Sunday with a concert that raised big bucks for Russell's recovery. Ticket sales generated more than $5,500 for a fund that helps Russell's family while they miss work to care for the injured hometown hero.
"We're here for an absolutely wonderful cause, a man by the name of Sergeant Lowell Russell," said Covington. "The guy was doing his job, what we want him to do which is to protect and to serve. Because of that, he is in the hospital. We just want to help guys like Lowell and other police officers and firefighters injured in the line of duty."
A charity called Help The Good Guys put on Sunday's concert. The group's founder knows about expensive injuries first-hand.
"I started this organization. I'm a retired Metro-Nashville police officer and I was injured on duty," said Mickey Milan, president of Help The Good Guys. "Family members have to take off work and a lot of times they need extra money to cover the bills they're incurring."
"It ain't right for Lowell to lose anything he had the day before the accident," said Covington. "I'm here to try to keep all of that intact."
The decision to have the concert at Sequoyah High School was fitting because concession sales also benefited the Frankie Watson Scholarship Fund. Lowell Russell served as a father figure to Watson, a U.S. Marine who died in Afghanistan in 2011.
Lowell's brother and fellow Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper, Cory Russell, said all of the support has left Lowell in disbelief.
"It's very touching. I can't believe the community support and how everybody has come out. He [Lowell] can't believe it. He is in shock," said Cory. "It tears [Lowell] up that he can't come to see the concert, but we're going to have somebody filming it for us so we can take it to him and play it."
Cory Russell said Lowell may face another year of intensive therapy as he works to regain full use of an arm and also rehabilitates his ability to speak and swallow.
"He has got a long road, but like I said, he is strong and he is not giving up," said Cory. "The whole community, coworkers, friends, friends we didn't even know we had, and the Facebook page [Prayers for Lowell Russell] has all been really incredible."
Sunday's concert is one of several ways the community has come together to provide moral and financial support for Lowell Russell. See the following page for a complete list of ways to support the Russell family.