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$1.3 million settlement awarded in suit over South Carolina crash that killed bride, injured groom

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

A South Carolina judge approved just over $1.3 million in a partial settlement in the wrongful death case of a bride killed by a suspected drunk driver just hours after being married. 

Jamie Lee Komoroski, 25, drove her rental car into the golf cart holding Samantha Miller, 34, and her groom, Aric Hutchinson, killing the bride and injuring him hours into their "perfect" wedding day on April 28, 2023 near Charleston. Authorities said Komoroski was driving 65 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone. 

Komoroski was charged on Sept. 12 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. She was released on bond in March and her criminal case is still pending. 

Three others in the golf cart, including the groom, were injured. Hutchinson said he had a brain injury and numerous broken bones in a GoFundMe page created by the groom's mother.

Hutchinson sued Komoroski, whose blood alcohol content was "0.261, more than three times the legal limit," according to a toxicology report released by the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. Included in the wrongful death lawsuit were bars that served her alcohol and Enterprise, the car company that rented her the vehicle and numerous restaurants and bars that served Komoroski on the night of the accident. 

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 initial lawsuit, which was filed in October.

That complaint also accuses Taco Boy, Komoroski's employer, of negligence and recklessness for serving "a dangerous amount" of alcohol at a work event. The restaurant has denied there was an officially sanctioned work event and it is not named in the settlement. 

The judge ordered the following businesses to pay $1.379 million to Hutchinson, who, as the husband of Samantha Miller for a few hours, is the personal representative of her estate:

  • The Crab Shack, $640,000
  • The Folly Deli, $320,000
  • Beach Front Bars/Snapper Jacks, $320,000
  • Progressive Northern Insurance Company, $75,000
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car, $24,000

Komoroski was named in the lawsuit but was not part of the settlement.

Caitlin O'Kane contributed reporting.

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