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Widower speaks at beach vigil after bride killed on wedding night: "She's up there smiling for sure"

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

More than 100 people gathered at Folly Beach in South Carolina over the weekend, for a vigil held to honor Samantha Miller, a 34-year-old woman who was killed in a deadly crash on her wedding night last month. 

"She would've loved it," said Miller's husband, Aric Hutchinson, at the Saturday vigil, where people tossed flowers into the ocean with "Sam" written on the stems, CBS affiliate WCSC reported.

"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."

Miller died on April 28 when a car rear-ended the golf cart that she was riding in alongside her husband, his brother-in-law Ben Garret, and Garret's teenage son, on Folly Beach. The bride was still wearing her wedding dress when the crash happened.

The alleged driver, 25-year-old Jamie Lee Komoroski, had a blood alcohol level about three times over the state's legal limit, according to a toxicology report released by the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. Investigators said Komoroski was driving a rental car at about 65 miles per hour when she hit the back of the golf cart around 10 p.m. on April 28.

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

Miller was the only person in the wedding party who sustained fatal injuries. Hutchinson is now recovering from a brain bleed and numerous broken bones. Garret, who suffered severe road rash and skin lacerations in the accident, is also recovering at home in Utah, along with his son, WCSC reported.

Hutchinson attended the beach vigil in a wheelchair and said that his health is improving, WCSC reported.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Hutchinson said. "My body's getting back to where I can manage, I guess. It's just as good as I can feel with the situation, but obviously, today and the outpouring of people was just amazing. I know Sam would love it."

People across the U.S. have joined residents of the Folly Beach community in supporting Miller's family since her death. Many have donated to the family's GoFundMe page, which has so far raised more than $720,000 for medical and burial costs. Hutchinson said that people have also reached out to him directly since the accident and donated food during his recovery, WCSC reported.

"It's a little overwhelming," Hutchinson said. "But it's, I mean, they're sincere, genuine, good-hearted people that are just reaching out that felt a reason to, or somehow they were touched by Sam. ... It just means the world. She left that impact."

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