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Crime & Courts

Lawsuit Filed Following Folly Beach Wedding Night DUI Death

“They were madly in love, smiling from ear to ear, and filled with all the hope and promise of what would have been a truly beautiful life together.”

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Multiple defendants were named in a wrongful death case brought this week on behalf of the estate of Samantha Miller – the bride who was killed on her wedding night last month by a drunk driver. Miller was killed on Folly Beach on the evening of Friday, April 28, 2023 – just moments after marrying the love of her life, Aric Hutchinson.

She was still wearing her wedding gown when she died …

Hutchinson is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, as are his brother-in-law and nephew – who were traveling with Miller by golf cart on East Ashley Avenue shortly after 10:00 p.m. EDT when they were struck from behind by a Toyota Camry driven by 25-year-old Jamie Lee Komoroski.

Komoroski is named as a defendant in the pleading (.pdf), as are Beach Front Bars (a.k.a. Snapper Jacks), The Folly Deli LLC (a.k.a. The Drop-in Bar and Deli), The Crab Shack, Folly Tacqueria LLC (a.k.a. Taco Boy), El Gallo Bar and Grill, Bottle Cap Holdings LLC and Bottle Cap Management Group LLC.

Multiple other unnamed defendants are listed in the action – including at least one unnamed “supervisor” at one of the establishments named in the suit. These parties “include, but are not limited to, owners, managers, operators, agents, independent contractors, security companies and/or other individuals or companies who had ownership, management or security responsibilities over restaurants / bars whose negligence caused or contributed” to the tragedy. 

Hutchinson and Miller pulled away from their wedding reception at the Pelican Watch Pavilion just before 10:00 p.m. in a golf cart adorned with a ‘Just Married’ sign. They were being transported to a nearby rental property by Benjamin Garrett – Aric’s brother-in-law – and Brogan Garrett, his nephew.

Both Garretts are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed in the court of common pleas in the Palmetto State’s ninth judicial circuit on May 17, 2023.

“The day was perfect, and the wedding went off better than either of them could have imagined,” the lawsuit begins. “Photos from the wedding depict the newlyweds exactly as they were: madly in love, smiling from ear to ear, and filled with all the hope and promise of what would have been a truly beautiful life together.”

(Click to View)

Aric Hutchinson and Samantha Miller just moments before she was killed by a drunk driver on Folly Beach (Provided)

“Unbeknownst to Sam, Aric, and their wedding party, Jamie Komoroski and the other Defendants were creating a different kind of day – one that would set in motion a course of events ultimately transforming a fairytale love story into a fateful night of unspeakable tragedy,” the lawsuit continued.

According to the pleading, Komoroski set off on a “booze-filled day of bar hopping” which eventually led to her becoming “so intoxicated that her blood alcohol content was at least 0.261, more than three times the legal limit.”

After “bar hopping down Center Street” on Folly Beach, Komoroski “slurred and staggered her way” through the various establishments named in the lawsuit – “consuming an assortment of alcoholic beverages, including beer, tequila shots (and) shift shots of liquor on the house,” the pleading alleged.

“Despite being noticeably and visibly intoxicated at each of these establishments, Jamie Komoroski continued to be served, provided, and/or allowed to consume additional and excessive amounts of alcohol at each of them,” the suit alleged.

This left her “grossly and dangerously intoxicated” and in a “nearly unconscious state” as she drove her Camry in the wrong direction on Folly Beach “in the stupor of a drunken haze,” according to the filing.

Allegedly “blowing through” posted speed limits of 25 miles per hour, Komoroski “hurtled down Ashely Avenue and slammed into the back of the golf cart” carrying the wedding party.

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“As a result of the violent and catastrophic collision, each of plaintiffs suffered terrible and permanent injuries and Aric’s new bride, Samantha Miller, lost her life,” the suit noted.

The pleading goes on to detail each of the parties to the action and their alleged negligence in contributing to the crash.

As for Komoroski, the suit accused her of being “negligent, grossly negligent, reckless, willful and wanton” in her disregard for the victims of the crash.

Komoroski claimed she “had two drinks, one beer and a drink” – specifically a “tequila pineapple” – about an hour prior to the accident. When officers began to assess the extent of her inebriation, she quickly stopped cooperating with them.

“Ummm, I would like a lawyer,” she said.

Prior to refusing to cooperate with responding officers, Komoroski claimed it was her vehicle which was struck.

“I was driving and then all of a sudden something hit me,” she told responding officers, according to a detailed incident report released by the city (.pdf).

(Click to View)

Golf cart crash on East Ashley Avenue. (Folly Beach)

Komoroski refused to take a field sobriety test or submit to a breathalyzer examination.

“I did nothing wrong,” she told responding deputies.

Miller was pronounced “deceased at (the) scene,” according to the report.

The groom “received multiple injuries including two broken legs, one which had to be surgically repaired,” according to a recent update to the family’s GoFundMe page written by his mother, Annette Hutchinson.

He also suffered “broken bones in his face which also had to be surgically repaired. Broken vertebrae’s in his back, brain bleeds, and numerous cuts with stitches.”

Komoroski faces two counts of felony driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, one count of felony driving under the influence resulting in death and one count of reckless homicide resulting in death. Those charges were filed – and will be prosecuted – by the office of S.C. ninth circuit solicitor Scarlett Wilson.

She is defended in the criminal case by attorneys Christopher J. Gramiccioni and Nathan Williams – both of whom have offices in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

The wrongful death action on behalf of Miller’s estate, Hutchinson and the other plaintiffs was filed by attorney Daniel R. “Danny” Dalton of the Mickelson Dalton law firm in Charleston, S.C. It seeks actual damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and any other relief the court deems “just and proper.”

Count on this news outlet to keep our audience in the loop on responses to the lawsuit – and any scheduled court hearings.

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THE PLEADING …

(Via: S.C. Ninth Judicial Circuit)

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5 comments

Davey Jones May 18, 2023 at 9:45 pm

I understand that there’s a handful of wrongful termination/civil rights lawsuits coming out of Laurens County, due to the county council chairman’s termination of the risk management director.

Seems to be some type of pissing contest with this fatass, and the different veteran groups. The RM director asked the VA director a question about her disabled son, council chairman fatass got wind of it, and he had her fired.

The RM director went to thank the VA guy for going to bat for her son who got shot up during wartime totally disability. He got totally disabled fighting for our country, and his mom gets fired for thanking the VA for helping.

Yeah, PLEASE put me on this jury.

Reply
She Belongs in Prison May 19, 2023 at 12:06 pm

“I did nothing wrong.”

Yeah, hope you rot.

Reply
medmondsm Top fan May 23, 2023 at 3:54 pm

Narcissists never do anything wrong.

Reply
Anonymous May 19, 2023 at 9:23 pm

It was not a golf cart but a LSV, which is legal to drive at night, and has safety features that a golf cart does not.

Reply
Anonymous May 22, 2023 at 5:53 pm

I’m heavily involved with the South Carolina Veterans of Foreign Wars. This issue arising in Laurens County has been referred to both the district and state chapter levels. It’s our understanding that the Chairman of Laurens County Council has issued some type of order that no county employee is to utilize local Veterans Administration services, due to some type of unresolved issues with local VA employees.

Rest assured that this is fully being investigated by the VFW, and local officials will be hearing from us in the not too distant future.

No veteran will be denied services on our watch. It’s one of our mantras.

Reply

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