WHITE BLUFF, Tenn. - It's been two months since 18-year-old Drew Smithson's pick-up truck was hit by an oncoming train. On Friday, he returned home to Dickson County for the first time.
Friends and family in White Bluff wanted to make sure he knew just how much he'd been missed.
They lined the streets of his hometown, and eagerly awaited his arrival.
"It's a big day, it's a really big day for him," said Janey Potts. "He has been in the Intensive Care Unit for 30 days and then he went to Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital and he's been there for 30 days, so we're glad to have him back in White Bluff."
Drew's mom says he was overwhelmed by the show of support as they drove into town.
"I said look Drew! And they were just lined up and he said 'Oh my God, oh my God, this is crazy'. That's all he could say, this is crazy," said Tracy Neblett.
Drew spent about an hour visiting with friends he hadn't seen in weeks.
"I was like wow, there's all these people, I'm not that special," he said. "I mean, it feels good because all these people care, but I just feel like I don't deserve it."
Maybe that's because Drew doesn't remember the crash that left his pick-up truck mangled, and left him with serious brain injuries. For five weeks, he didn't talk or walk.
"I'm feeling a lot better. Still a little sore, but it's a lot better than when I was in the hospital," he said. "I just couldn't believe it when I first heard what happened, because I don't remember any of it. So when people told me, it surprised me and scared me at the same time."
Drew's mother says his strength and will to live have impressed everyone from family members to doctors and physical therapists.
"Every goal they set for him, he exceeds what they set for him," she said. "You can ask every therapist, every doctor, every nurse, it's just amazing how hard he fights and how hard he tries."
Some days, Drew says he goes through six different sessions of physical therapy.
The former high school basketball and baseball star has dreams of playing at the college level, and that's one of the things that keeps him going.
"I'm glad I'm okay," he said. "I feel pretty lucky. And blessed. I feel really blessed."
Drew's recovery is not yet complete.
He's now headed to NHC Healthcare in Dickson, for yet another round of re-hab and physical therapy.
After spending the last two months at hospitals in Nashville, he says he's just happy to be closer to his family and friends in White Bluff.