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Widower reaches tentative settlement with 2 bars he says overserved driver accused of killing his new bride

Bride killed by suspected drunk driver
Bride killed by suspected drunk driver hours after her wedding 05:07

Two bars accused of overserving a woman who authorities say drunkenly hit a golf cart carrying a newlywed couple away from their reception, killing the bride, have reached a tentative settlement with the groom, who was seriously injured.

The Drop In Bar & Deli and The Crab Shack have agreed to pay "certain sums" to Aric Hutchinson that were described by his lawyer as "reasonable," according to a Sept. 28 petition for approval in Charleston County Court in South Carolina.

The settlement is confidential, and the case will continue against other defendants, Hutchinson's attorney, Daniel Dalton, said in an email. A judge must approve the settlement.

The April 28 crash killed Samantha Miller, 34, and wounded three other occupants of the golf cart. Aric Hutchinson survived with a brain injury and multiple broken bones.

Bride Killed
This undated photo shows Samantha Miller and her groom-to-be Aric Hutchinson. Authorities say Miller, a bride leaving her wedding reception was killed when a woman driving under the influence and well over twice the speed limit slammed into the back of a golf cart on a South Carolina beach road, Friday, April 28, 2023.  / AP

An attorney for The Crab Shack did not respond Monday afternoon to an email from AP seeking more details. The AP also sent a request for comment to the email listed on Drop In's website.

Hutchinson charged in a wrongful death lawsuit that Jamie Lee Komoroski "slurred and staggered" across several bars around Folly Beach before speeding in her Toyota Camry with a blood-alcohol concentration more than three times the legal limit.

El Gallo Bar & Grill, Snapper Jacks, The Drop In Bar & Deli and The Crab Shack all either allowed her to become intoxicated or continued selling alcohol when she had already grown far too drunk, according to the lawsuit, brought by Hutchinson as the manager of his late wife's estate.

That complaint also accuses Komoroski's employer of negligence and recklessness. An unnamed supervisor at Taco Boy - where Komoroski had recently begun serving at the time of the crash - allegedly coerced her into consuming "a dangerous amount of alcohol" at an employee function that night. The restaurant has denied there was an officially sanctioned work event.

According to a police affidavit obtained by CBS News, Komoroski told an officer on the scene that she had consumed one beer and a drink with tequila about one hour before the crash. When asked how impaired she was on a scale of 1-10, Komoroski "stated she was at a 8," the affidavit says. She then allegedly refused to take a field sobriety test and "became uncooperative on scene."

A toxicology report said investigators obtained a warrant to draw two blood vials, which Folly Beach police sent to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to test, the report said. Komoroski's blood alcohol content was more than three times over the limit after the time of the crash, tests showed.

A separate criminal case recently took a step forward when a state grand jury indicted Komoroski. Court documents filed last month show that indictments returned Sept. 12 charge Komoroski with felony driving under the influence resulting in death, reckless homicide, and two counts of felony driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, news outlets reported.

Her attorneys did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment.

Komoroski was denied bond this summer while facing charges of reckless vehicular homicide and three counts of driving under the influence causing death or great bodily injury.

In May, Hutchinson said he didn't remember the crash but did recall his bride's last words to him before she died.

"The last thing I remember her saying was she wanted the night to never end," he told ABC's "Good Morning America."

Weeks after the crash, more than 100 people gathered at Folly Beach for a vigil held to honor Miller.

"This is Sam. I mean, she's a beach girl, through and through," Hutchinson said. "We do walk here almost every morning, and this is her send-off for sure. She's up there smiling for sure."

Memorial held for North Carolina bride killed in crash shortly after wedding 00:29
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