A newlywed bride was killed and the groom is in critical condition after they were hit by a drunk who hit their golf cart as they were leaving their wedding reception, authorities said. Samantha Miller, 34, and Aric Hutchinson, 36, were celebrating their marriage when Jamie Komoroski, 25, allegedly rear-ended them at Folly Beach, South Carolina, on Friday.
The golf cart carrying Samantha and her husband Aric from their wedding venue in Folly Beach was rear-ended by the drunk driver shortly after they left the reception around 10 pm on Friday, according to TV station WYFF 4. Heartbreaking photos show the happy newlyweds grinning as their guests waved them off with sparklers just seconds before disaster struck.
Wedding Day Tragedy
The 'sweet' newlyweds and two other passengers were in the buggy when it rolled multiple times over a 100-yard distance, instantly killing the bride. According to Folly Beach Police, Komoroski was driving a rental Toyota Camry at 65 mph in a 25mph zone and was heavily drunk.
"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," the groom's mother, Annette Hutchinson, wrote on a GoFundMe page, which identified the couple as victims of the collision.
"Aric has lost the love of his life," she said.
Hutchinson's mother claimed that two of the groom's relatives, Ben Garrett and Brogan Garrett, were accompanying the newlyweds in the golf cart, who also suffered injuries in the collision.
"The golf cart was thrown over 100 yards and rolled several times," the page said.
A family member confirmed that Brogan was released on Sunday and is already healing despite being "banged up and sore."
According to a GoFundMe page, Aric is still in serious condition.
The groom has been in a critical state since the tragedy, and it is unclear if he is aware that his wife has died in the collision.
"The groom graduated from Bonneville High School in South Ogden, Utah and played college football for Snow College and Utah Tech," Annette wrote.
Annette said that Aric has already undergone one reconstruction surgery and will soon undergo another as well as suffering several fractured bones and brain damage.
Jamie Lee Komoroski, the car's driver, was arrested and charged with DUI causing death and reckless homicide. He is 25 years old.
Although Komoroski's blood test results are not yet available, police said the crash investigation showed she was traveling at 65 mph when she hit the golf cart.
Hutchinson's mother started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to cover the bride's funeral expenses as well as the groom's and his family's medical expenses.
"The couple made their home in both the groom's home state of Utah and the state of South Carolina. The bride is from North Carolina.
Samantha's employer, XenTegra, a global IT service firm in Huntersville, North Carolina, announced her death on LinkedIn and referred to her as an "integral member"
"She carried a light about her, one that shined so brightly upon everyone with whom she interacted. Simply put, Samantha brought an abundance of joy and laughter to the workplace," the company wrote, noting she was a dedicated and detail-oriented worker who went above and beyond.
"But beyond her professional accomplishments, Samantha was a wonderful person. In the last several months, our team was able to join in her excitement as she shared photos and intricate details about her upcoming wedding," the company wrote. "We will forever remember Samantha's smile, her laughter, and her dedication to her work, friends, and family."
The Charleston County Coroner's Office said Samantha died at the scene from blunt force injuries she sustained in the collision.
The golf cart is a six-person, low-speed type with a top speed of 25 mph, and Andrew Gilreath, director of the Folly Beach Public Safety Department, claimed it is authorized to operate at night.
Komoroski, a Logistics Account Executive is still being held in the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Facility, and a court appearance about the event is scheduled for June.
She may face up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,100 for the killing of the bride. She might also receive an additional 15 years and $10,100 for the grievous injuries she inflicted on the men in the buggy.