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Alleged Drunk Driver Strikes Couple Leaving Their Wedding, Killing Bride and Leaving Groom with Critical Brain Injury
Samantha Miller died in her wedding dress after alleged drunk driver Jamie Lee Komoroski struck the back of the golf cart carrying her and her groom away from their wedding reception on the island of Folly Beach, South Carolina.
An alleged drunk driver slammed into a just-wed couple in South Carolina on Friday, leaving the bride dead and her widower with a critical brain injury.
Samantha Miller, 34, and Aric Hutchinson were leaving their wedding reception on the island of Folly Beach at approximately 10 p.m. when 25-year-old Jamie Lee Komoroski allegedly rammed her rental car into their golf cart while driving 65 mph, well over twice the speed limit, according to The Associated Press.
The cart was reportedly flung more than 100 yards by the impact, rolling over several times before coming to a stop. Along with the groom, the bride's brother-in-law and young nephew were in the cart and also injured. Two were in “very serious condition” after the crash and a minor was in stable condition, according to a statement issued by Folly Beach Public Safety Director Andrew Gilreath.
Mandi Jenkins, Miller's sister, said the couple left their wedding venue at around 9:45 p.m. to go back to their rental home on the golf cart, according to WCBD-TV.
"And the sirens started. And the sirens kept going. And the sirens didn't stop," Mandi Jenkins, Miller's sister, told WCBD. "And my mom said, 'Something happened to Sam,' not knowing anything."
“It was so dark, but it was so light because of all of the police. I can’t take it out of my brain. And my mom and I ran holding hands. No shoes, no bra, no nothing, just screaming ‘Sammy!,’” Jenkins recalled. “Thirty-four, wants to be a mom. And she can’t. My sister, a daughter, a wife, died in her wedding dress because someone made a terrible decision to get in the car."
Data retrieved from Komoroski's rental car indicated that she only briefly hit the brakes before hitting the couple's vehicle. First responders reported the driver smelled of alcohol when they arrived at the scene, according to a probably cause affidavit for Komoroski's arrest obtained by Law&Crime.
When asked how drunk she was on a scale of one to 10, with one being sober and 10 being the most impaired, Komoroski reportedly ranked her state at an 8, according to the affidavit.
She was unsteady getting out of the vehicle, police wrote, almost falling over before an officer helped her stand. She "strongly refused" to take a breathalyzer or field sobriety tests at the scene.
A warrant was obtained to test two vials of her blood at the police station before she was transported to Charleston County Detention Center. Results from the test are pending.
Komoroski now faces three charges of felony DUI resulting in great body injury or death, each carrying up to 25 years in prison, and one charge of reckless vehicular homicide. According to WCBD, she has a history of speeding-related charges.
Annette Hutchinson, the mother of the critically injured groom, wrote in a GoFundMe initiative that her son underwent "one of two reconstruction surgeries" and suffered "numerous broken bones and a brain injury."
"I was handed Aric's wedding ring in a plastic bag at the hospital, five hours after Sam placed it on his finger and they read each other their vows," reads the fundraiser. "Aric has lost the love of his life ... he will have a long recovery."
As of Wednesday, the fundraiser has raised nearly $600,000 toward Miller's burial and Hutchinson's treatment.