Bride killed in crash didn’t want wedding night to end, widowed groom says
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Aric Hutchinson wishes he could remember the crash, but he said he does remember his bride’s last words to him before the golf cart carrying them along a South Carolina beach road from their wedding reception was hit by a car driven by a woman who authorities say was drunk.
“The last thing I remember her saying was she wanted the night to never end,” he said in an interview broadcast Friday by ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
The bride, Samantha Miller, 34, was killed in the April 28 crash and Hutchinson and two other passengers were injured. A toxicology report showed the driver of the car, Jamie Lee Komoroski, 25, had a blood alcohol level of 0.261 — over three times the legal limit. She is charged with reckless vehicular homicide and three counts of driving under the influence causing death or great bodily injury. Komoroski is currently being held without bond at a local jail, according to Charleston County Sheriff’s Office online records.
In a statement, Komoroski’s defense attorneys, Chris Gramiccioni, Deb Gramiccioni and Nathan Williams, asked the public not to rush to judgment.
“Our court system is founded upon principles of justice and mercy and that is where all facts will come to light,” they said.
Hutchinson said he remembers waking up in the hospital and knowing something was wrong when he saw his mother’s face.
“I asked her, ‘Where’s Sam? Where’s Sam?’ and that’s when she told me there was an incident and that Sam didn’t make it,” he recalled.
Hutchinson remembers Miller’s calmness on their wedding night despite all the stresses of wedding planning. Family and friends came from all over the country and everyone, including Miller, was so happy.
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around it, that night, going from an all-time high to an all-time low,” he said. “It’s pretty rough to try to comprehend.”
Being back at the home he and Miller shared is hard, “but also nice,” Hutchinson said.
“It’s got Sam written all over the house,” he said. “So it’s nice to be here and have good memories.”
Hutchinson said he doesn’t have anything to say to Komoroski at this time.
“I can’t right now,” he said. “I’d like to. I mean, she stole an amazing human being that should not have been taken.”
In addition to the criminal case, Komoroski faces a wrongful death lawsuit alongside several businesses accused of overserving her on the night of the crash.
Four bars gave “copious amounts of alcohol” to a “visibly intoxicated” woman — Komoroski — last month before she drove 40 mph (64 kph) over the speed limit into a golf cart carrying the couple away from their wedding reception, according to a new lawsuit filed Wednesday by Hutchinson and his relatives.
A taqueria that had recently hired Komoroski is accused of negligence and recklessness. An unnamed Taco Boy supervisor coerced the new server into consuming “a dangerous amount of alcohol” at an employee function before the crash, according to the complaint.
In a statement on its website, Taco Boy denied that an “officially organized employee function around drinking” occurred. The statement said video footage, staff interviews and sales receipts confirm that Komoroski, who has since been fired, did not enter the restaurant on the day of the accident.
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.