Russell Dickerson Attends CMA Awards with Utah Teenager Who Lost Her Legs After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver

Sarah Frei and Russell Dickerson; Photo by Jamie Schramm, CMA
Sarah Frei and Russell Dickerson; Photo by Jamie Schramm, CMA
Sarah Frei and Russell Dickerson; Photo by Jamie Schramm, CMA

Country star Russell Dickerson brought a very special plus one to the 55th Annual CMA Awards on Wednesday evening: Utah teen Sarah Frei.

Following a devastating head-on collision with a drunk driver in July of 2020, Frei lost both of her legs in the life-threatening accident.

Originally coming across Frei’s inspiring story in late 2020 through a video the teen posted on Instagram of her bed-ridden practicing a cheer routine to Dickerson’s “Home Sweet,” the singer knew he had to connect with her.

The pair met in person at the end of 2020, where Dickerson donated a wheelchair-accessible car to the brave teen.

Watch Frei’s video below.


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“The joy on her face was just, like, contagious, and so I’m like, ‘Instead of just sending merch or whatever, we gotta change this girl’s life,” Dickerson shared from the CMA red carpet.

While Frei expected the generous gift from Dickerson to be the end of their journey, it was just the beginning. The “Love You Like I Used To” singer’s team reached out a few weeks ago to extend the offer of a lifetime- for Frei to fly to Nashville and join Dickerson on the CMA Awards red carpet.

Not only did Frei join the country star on the carpet, Dickerson also invited the teen to join him onstage. 

“We’re just telling this whole story,” Dickerson explained to The Tennessean. “It’s a beautiful story. I’m just honored to be part of it.”

On July 30, 2020, an unsuspecting Frei, along with three of her friends, were returning home from Bear Lake, Idaho, when a drunk driver hit their car head-on. In addition to her before-mentioned injuries, Frei also suffered a broken back, broken ankle, face fractures and is paralyzed from the waist down.

To follow Frei on her inspiring journey to recovery, check out her Instagram page,