Trooper Lowell Russell (Courtesy: THP)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Two Knoxville police officers will receive high honors for their actions after a state trooper was hit by a tractor trailer back in March.
Mayor Madeline Rogero and Police Chief David Rausch will present the Medal of Merit Award to officers Andrew Keith and Steve Taylor for their heroic actions in saving the life of Sgt Lowell Russell.
Officers Keith and Taylor were two of the first people on scene after a tractor trailer slammed into the back of Trooper Russell's car. The car burst into flames with him still inside.
The two officers, along with two McMinn County paramedics and the driver of the truck, helped pull Russell out of his car.
"I noticed there was a car on fire in front of it so I stopped on the ramp and tried to get over there on foot. And then I realized it was a cruiser so I started running and then I realized he was still in the car," said Keith.
"It was pretty intense. When I saw the vehicle engulfed I was preparing myself to see another officer die," said Taylor.
Russell survived and continues to recover.
"When I came on the highway patrol that was the proudest day of my life. I graduated August the 10th. I miss that car and uniform the most. I hope I can come back," said Russell.