|Published: 9:20 AM, 08/21/2013
||Last updated: 9:29 AM, 08/21/2013
Author: Michael Thomason
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
A man who crashed into a parked
highway patrol cruiser in March 2012, nearly killing the trooper inside, will spend the next year
on unsupervised probation, a sentence the trooper encouraged.
Lowell Russell, who is still undergoing therapy for his injuries, was the trooper in the car
that March morning, and while he didn't attend the sentencing hear for Eric Lewis, the driver of
the truck, he sent a letter to the judge saying, "I have no animosity or hard feelings toward Mr.
Lewis and I do not believe that incarcerating him would accomplish anything. Therefore, I have no
objection to him being granted probation."
Russell, of Vonore,
who is well-known in Monroe County, was in his patrol car on Interstate 40/75 in Knoxville doing
the paperwork on a stop when the wreck occurred. Russell was trapped in the burning car and Lewis
helped free him before anyone knew he was the one who'd hit Russell.
Russell has since been seen as an inspiration in the community, fighting back from his
injuries and has garnered even more admiration with his reaction to Lewis' guilty plea and
"I have no doubt he regrets the collision that
injured me and wished it had never happened," Russell wrote. "I would like to think that Mr. Lewis
did not mean to drive while impaired from being tired and sleepy. I would like to think that he
simply used poor judgment like so many other people I have seen during my years."
See full story in the Wednesday, Aug. 21, edition
of The Advocate & Democrat.
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