Heart of Utah: Strong like Sarah

Jan 27, 2021, 10:05 AM | Updated: Apr 26, 2021, 6:39 pm

EDITORS NOTE: “Strong Like Sarah” is part of KSL NewsRadio’s Heart of Utah segment that airs weekly on Fridays at 6:45 am and 5:45 p.m. 

CLEARFIELD,  Utah — Almost six months to the day since a horrific accident, a journey is just beginning for a remarkable young woman from Northern Utah. 

Sarah Frei, 17,  is on the way to a new future as she helps advocate on Utah’s Capitol Hill. 

It was July 30, 2020. Sarah was on the way home from Bear Lake when her car was hit by a suspected drunk driver in Logan Canyon. She was paralyzed below the waist, suffered internal injuries, and had to have her legs amputated. She underwent 20 surgeries and was in the hospital for about three months.

“She was in extremely critical condition, and we heard he was out of jail,” said her mom, Amy Frei. “We thought, how is this possible?”

Working with lawmakers to change the status quo 

The Freis worked with State Representative Steve Eliason on a new bill — Sarah’s Bill that would allow a judge to set harsher bail terms for certain drunk driving suspects.

Last week, HB47 passed the House unanimously and now, it heads to the state Senate.

“It was just beautiful to see the process working the way it should,” said Sarah’s dad, Greg Frei. “It’s been fascinating and just such a blessing.”

This comes as Sarah is still healing and adapting to her new lifestyle. 

“ The enormity of the lifestyle change for her is still sinking in for us, so it took a while to really hit us that this is her new life. This is her new path,” Greg explained.

A gift from an idol 

 That new path is now made easier with a big surprise by the singer of her favorite song, “Home Sweet.” 

Country star Russell Dickerson surprised Sarah over Zoom recently with a brand new Chevrolet Traverse, fully wheelchair accessible, allowing her to drive it. She said she was just thrilled to meet him and didn’t even expect such a big gift.


“I started crying. I was freaking out and then he told me that,” said Sarah. ”I’m really excited to start driving it.”

The song pulled her through the long recovery in the hospital, and her high school cheerleading team performed it in her honor. She has been able to perform with them, too.

Strong Like Sarah: ‘I just try to make the most out of every situation’

Sarah is busy cheerleading, remotely finishing her senior year at Clearfield High, learning to drive that new car, speaking at church firesides, and starting an internship next month. 

I got into an internship for elementary school teaching and so I’ll teach at the same elementary school that I went to. And I’m really excited for that,” said Sarah.

She plans to get a degree from Utah State University, with the hopes of teaching second and third grade. 

Meanwhile, Sarah’s Instagram account Strong Like Sarah is gaining followers from all around the world. 

“She is smiling and laughing and having fun and figuring out a fun way to do things. It’s been amazing to see her take on this challenge,” said Amy Frei.

I just try to make the most out of every situation because I can’t control what has happened to me,” Sarah said. “I’m not doing much. There’s not like a secret formula. I just am who I am and want to spread positivity.”  

Something singer Russell Dickerson saw, too.

“Thank you for the joy,” he told her on that Zoom call. “Keep inspiring people. You are crushing it.”



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sarah Frei (@strong.like.sarah)


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Heart of Utah

Park City resident Connor Curran gets his first podium finish (2nd place) in aerials at the 2024 Fr...

Joe Davis

Park City resident wins podium finish at World Cup

Park City resident and US Freestyle Aerialist, Connor Curran won a World Cup Podium Finish at Deer Valley on Friday night.

1 month ago

people shop at a utah liquor store, which are now collecting donations for charities...

Eric Cabrera

For the first time, every Utah liquor store will collect donations for charity

Each liquor store in Utah chose which charity they wanted to collect donations for in order to make an impact on the communities they're in.

3 months ago

Festival of Trees Tamra Rachol...

Amie Schaeffer

How the Festival of Trees embodies hope and healing for a domestic violence survivor

Tamra Rachol, a domestic violence survivor, views the Festival of Trees as an opportunity to bring hope and attention to important issues.

3 months ago

Leslie Edwards made a big jump from newsrooms to classrooms....

Amanda Dickson

Meet Utah teacher Leslie Edwards and hear why she left journalism for education

Leslie Edwards left the news industry to teach. From Saudi Arabia to Salt Lake City, learn more about why she ended up teaching third grade.

3 months ago

Utah history...

Elizabeth Weiler

Division of State History spreading awareness for Utah History Month in January

Utah's Division of State History created Utah History Month to draw attention to the work happening across our state to preserve its history.

1 year ago

Water Canyon High School footbal players stay warm using Dixie High School football teams cold weat...

Alejandro Lucero

Water Canyon football stays warm with help from school district partner

The high school's inaugural football season almost came to an end because of the snow, but strong partnerships gave them a fighting chance.

1 year ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Heart of Utah: Strong like Sarah