SC Widow Files Lawsuit After His New Bride Is Killed by a Drunk Driver
By LawCommentary | Posted on May 23, 2023
This undated photo provided by Samantha Miller shows Miller and her groom-to-be Aric Hutchinson (Family of Samantha Miller via AP, File)
A South Carolina widower has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a drunk driver and several establishments after his bride was killed just minutes after the couple left their wedding ceremony.
On April 28th, Aric Hutchinson was leaving the venue of his wedding reception at Folly Beach with his new bride Samantha Miller, 34. Hutchinson, Miller, and two others were driving in a golf cart when they were struck from the rear by 25-year-old Jamie Lee Komoroski. Komoroski was driving at speeds of over 65 MPG in a 25 MPG zone and was later found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.261 - over three times the legal limit.
Miller died on impact, while her husband was thrown over a hundred yards from the vehicle and suffered numerous broken bones including a brain injury. The other two passengers on the golf cart also suffered injuries of varying severity.
The lawsuit was filed on May 17th in South Carolina's Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Common Pleas and accuses several establishments including El Gallo Bar & Grill, Snapper Jacks, the Drop In Bar & Dali, and the Crab Shack of continuing to serve Komoroski alcohol even though they should have been able to determine that she was intoxicated. Komoroski is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Komoroski was recently hired at taqueria Taco Boy and was allegedly forced to consume “a dangerous amount of alcohol” during a work function that happened just hours before the crash, according to the lawsuit.
The Taqueria has denied the allegations saying that no “officially organized employee function around drinking” occurred during the night of the crash.
The lawsuit details that Komoroski was bar hopping that fateful night and that “her intoxicated state was a direct and proximate cause of the collision that caused the severe injuries suffered by the Plaintiffs, as well as the ultimate death of Samantha Miller.”
Komoroski has since been charged with reckless vehicular homicide along with three counts of driving under the influence causing death or great bodily injury.
Hutchinson and his legal team explain that while the civil lawsuit cannot bring Miller back, it can help raise awareness about drunk driving. The family's attorney Danny Dalton shared in a statement, “This case is about keeping our community safe from drunken drivers, and an important part of that effort is making sure the establishments we entrust with liquor licenses live up to their responsibility to serve alcohol responsibly.”
Hutchinson, who recently spoke about the tragedy with Good Morning America, shared that "I'm 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."
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages. It explains that Miller experienced “conscious physical pain” before she passed away. Additionally, Hutchinson suffered “psychological trauma” after he was forced to witness his new bride die right in front of him.