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VONORE (WATE) - It's been six months since Tennessee state trooper Lowell Russell was involved in a horrific crash on Interstate 40.
Russell was sitting in his parked cruiser when a semi-truck slammed into him.
Even though he received critical injuries, Russell is on the road to recovery.
On Saturday, the community came together to celebrate his life and his birthday.
A huge sign welcomed guests to Russell's birthday celebration at Bob and Darlene Lovingood's home in Vonore.
"We love Lowell," said friend Darlene Lovingood. "Everybody loves Lowell. Lowell's been taking care of everybody all his life and has been such a good public servant, such a good high school student, such a good patrol person. We just love him and we wanted to give back to Lowell."
Lowell is still recovering from his injuries, and was not up to doing an interview, but that did not stop him from greeting each person who came to celebrate his 37th birthday.
At first they were not really sure how many people would be coming to his birthday bash, but after word of mouth, and an invitation on facebook, they say more than 500 attended.
"We're really just going to have a good time tonight," said friend Bob Lovingood. "We are going to celebrate Lowell's birthday and celebrate him as a person."
At the entrance of the party was a photo of Marine Lance Corporal Frankie Watson who died in Afghanistan in 2011. Watson and Russell were close friends, and the Lovingood's felt it was important to have his photo at Saturday's event.
Russell has made huge strides in his recovery.
"He's doing very well," said Darlene Lovingood. "He's driving now. We are just tickled to death about that, and his speech is coming along great. He can eat now. He's flying his plane with other people, I think. He's almost back to some normal things that were really important to him."
Everyone at the party says they are just glad to see Russell doing so well.
"Happy birthday Lowell," said Darlene Lovingood. "We love you!"
Lowell will actually be turning 37 on August 25. He is still unsure when he will be able to return to his job.