Aric Hutchinson and Samantha Miller had both said ‘I do’ and looked forward to their life as a married couple, but sadly, their happiness was short-lived after what was supposed to be the best night of their lives ended with a tragedy.
Mere hours after exchanging their vows, the newlyweds left their reception on Folly Beach, an island off the coast of South Carolina, through a canopy of sparklers, and boarded into the back of the low speed vehicle (LSV), a street legal cart, similar to a golf cart. The cart was operated by Aric’s relatives, Benjamin and Brogan Garrett, who were seated at the front. They were just two blocks away from where Aric and Samantha stayed, when a vehicle operated by Jamie Lee Komoroski, 25, slammed into the back of the LSV.
Komorski was driving a rent-a-car Toyota.
Tragically, Samantha died of blunt force injuries at the scene of the crash, according to the coroner’s office, while Aric was heavily injured, suffering head injury and broken bones. He remains in critical condition. Benjamin was also seriously injured and hospitalized, with nephew, Brogan facing injuries but being released from hospital on Friday.
Komorski was said to be under the influence at the time of the crash. Data retrieved from her rental car indicated she was driving 65 mph in a 25 mph zone, and only briefly hit the brakes before crashing around 10 p.m. Friday on Folly Beach. It was confirmed by the Safety Department Director Andrew Gilreath that the LSV had lights and was legal to drive at night.
“I don’t know what the distraction was, but she literally ran into my daughter going 65 miles an hour. Sammie and Aric were on the back of the golf cart and so she basically just whammed my child,” Samantha’s heartbroken mother, who had danced with her daughter just hours before the tragic crash, said.
“We were in our pajamas sitting on the balcony…and started to hear the sirens. And the sirens kept going,” Samantha’s sister, Mandi Jenkins, said. After she texted her sister and there was no response, they drove to the scene and what they saw was horrifying.
Komoroski was charged with reckless vehicular homicide and three counts of driving under the influence causing death. She is facing up to 25 years in prison on each DUI count.
At the police station, Komorski refused to provide a breath sample, but a warrant was issued for two viles of blood, results that are not yet available.
Aric’s mother, Annette Hutchinson, started a GoFundMe page to help with her son’s medical bills and Samantha’s funeral costs.
“Aric is in serious condition and has had one of two reconstruction surgeries, numerous broken bones, and a brain injury, he will have a long recovery. Ben and Brogan were also injured, Ben seriously.” She added: “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. Aric has lost the love of his life.” This campaign has raised almost $600,000 on Wednesday of its $100,000 goal.
Another GoFundMe page started by Samantha’s sister Mandi helped raise almost $37,000 of its $10,000 goal.
“Samantha was fearless and that’s exactly how she spent the last day of her life. She was so excited to start her life with Aric. She had no nerves or hesitation that day. You could feel the love on the beach.”
We are so very sorry for this devastating loss. May she rest in peace.
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Love and Peace