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Groom Sues Alleged DUI Driver, Bars After His Bride Was Killed Leaving Their Wedding
Aric Hutchinson, his bride Samantha Miller, and two extended family members were traveling in a golf cart when alleged drunk driver Jamie Lee Komoroski slammed into the back of the cart, killing Miller and injuring the others.
A South Carolina groom who lost his new wife as they were leaving their wedding reception is suing the alleged drunk driver who crashed into their golf cart, along with the area bars that the suit claims served the driver "excessive amounts of alcohol."
Aric Hutchinson, his bride Samantha Miller, and two extended family members were traveling in the cart near Charleston on April 28 when alleged drunk driver Jamie Lee Komoroski slammed into the back of the cart, killing Miller and injuring the three other passengers to different degrees.
In the wrongful death suit filed Wednesday in the Ninth Judicial Circuit in the County of Charleston, obtained by Law&Crime, Hutchinson, 36, alleges that Komoroski was grossly negligent and reckless in her decisions the day of the crash, and that the establishments that sold her booze were grossly negligent and careless for "serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person."
"April 28, 2023 was supposed to be the happiest day of Samantha's (“Sam”) and Aric’s lives," the lawsuit states. "Earlier that week, their families and friends had arrived in Charleston for a week of wedding festivities to celebrate Sam and Aric, their love, and the beginning of their next stage of life together as husband and wife.
"The week culminated with Sam and Aric’s marriage on April 28, 2023 on Folly Beach," it continues. "The day was perfect, and the wedding went off better than either of them could have imagined. Photos from the wedding depict the newlyweds exactly as they were: madly in love, smiling from ear to ear, and filled with all the hope and promise of what would have been a truly beautiful life together."
The suit goes on to claim that, "Unbeknownst to Sam, Aric, and their wedding party, Jamie Komoroski and the other Defendants were creating a different kind of day — one that would set in motion a course of events ultimately transforming a fairytale love story into a fateful night of unspeakable tragedy."
The lawsuit states that on the Friday of the wedding, Komoroski, 25, "set off on a booze-filled day of bar hopping. This was not just any ordinary day of drinking, though. By the time her blood was drawn while in police custody at the end of the night, Jamie Komoroski was so intoxicated that her Blood Alcohol Content was at least 0.261, more than three times the legal limit. On April 28, 2023, Jamie Komoroski visited several bars where she was served and consumed copious amounts of alcohol."
By the end of the night, Komoroski was "grossly and dangerously intoxicated," the lawsuit charges, and "was allowed to leave the bars, make her way to her vehicle, and drive on public roadways in her nearly unconscious state."
The wedding party's golf cart that was ultimately struck by Komoroski's car was driven by Hutchinson's brother-in-law, Benjamin Garrett. The groom's nephew was in the front passenger seat, next to Garrett. The newly-married couple were seated in the back of the golf cart.
Hutchinson is named as a plaintiff in the suit, as well as Garrett, and Alexis Garrett, the mother of the groom's minor-aged nephew who was in the cart.
"Even as she blew through the 25-mph speed limit, Jamie Komoroski continued to accelerate," the lawsuit states. "Reaching speeds of approximately 65-mph, Jamie Komoroski hurtled down Ashley Avenue and slammed into the back of the golf cart in which Plaintiffs were riding."
The suit alleges that in addition to 34-year-old Miller losing her life, the three other victims in the cart "suffered terrible and permanent injuries."
The mother of the groom has stated that Hutchinson suffered "numerous broken bones and a brain injury."
Among the establishments named as a defendant in the suit is Taco Boy, which Komoroski worked at.
"Miss Komoroski had been recently hired at Taco Boy and had trained for only two days prior to the accident," the company said in a statement Wednesday. "She passed her background check and there were no red flags that would indicate ineligibility for employment. She has since been terminated.
"The lawsuit alleges an officially organized employee function around drinking, which we can assure there was no such thing," Taco Boy continued.
Komoroski has been charged with three counts of DUI causing serious bodily injury/death, along with a count of reckless homicide.
Hutchinson told Good Morning America in an interview that aired Friday that he's "still trying to wrap my head around it. That night, going from an all-time high to an all-time low, it's pretty rough to try to comprehend."
"I do remember the last thing I remember her saying was she wanted the night to never end," he continued, adding that when he woke up in a hospital room later that night, he asked, "Where's Sam?"
"That's when [my mother] told me there's an incident and that Sam didn't make it," Hutchinson said.