SYRACUSE — Hundreds of people flocked to a neighborhood Tuesday night to welcome home a teen who was severely injured earlier this summer in a head-on crash with a suspected DUI driver.
Sarah Frei, 17, was paralyzed from the waist down in the July 30 crash that left three others in her vehicle with serious injuries.
“Sarah was the most severely injured,” said her aunt, Angie Bond. “It was discovered pretty quickly — within a day — that she was paralyzed from the waist down and that she had to have both legs amputated.”
After a lengthy stay in the hospital, Frei was discharged earlier Tuesday and made the trek home from Salt Lake City.
“She radiates so much joy,” her aunt said. “It’s hard to be sad, so my tears are tears of joy that we have Sarah and that she’s home.”
A parade spanned several blocks Tuesday evening and welcomed the teen back to her house.
Hundreds either took part in or watched the parade, which featured police and fire vehicles, multiple cheer squads, and numerous flags supplied by the Follow the Flag organization.
“Anything we could do to put a smile on her face and let her know that we love her!” said relative Rick Fassbinder, also a member of the Follow the Flag group.
Frei teared up as she was driven up to her driveway, surrounded by a cheering crowd, which shouted “We love you, Sarah!”
“Thank you!” Frei shouted back as she waved.
Bond said Frei is deeply loved by everyone around her, and her family is glad she is finally home.
“She has just been a joy and a light,” Bond said. “We’re just so grateful to have her!”