Newly released affidavits from the Folly Beach Police Department have revealed what happened in the aftermath of a deadly crash that killed a bride and injured a groom just hours after they tied the knot in South Carolina.
Authorities wrote that Jamie Lee Komoroski, 25, who is accused of crashing into the newlyweds’ golf cart while under the influence, was uncooperative when police responded to the scene, and almost fell over when asked to complete a field sobriety test.
Police arrived at the scene around 10:15 p.m. on Friday and found a “large crash scene with a golf cart on its side.” The document notes that several victims were lying among the wreckage.
The responding officer said his priority was treating the bride, 34-year-old Samantha Miller, who was badly injured in the crash and later died at the scene. He then rendered aid to Miller’s new husband Aric Hutchinson, as well as another person in the golf cart who was injured.
After triaging the injured people, the officer said he turned his attention to the driver of the Toyota that rear-ended the golf cart. Komoroski was not injured in the crash, the affidavit reads, and officers said they could smell alcohol on her breath.
“I asked Jamie if she had anything to drink and she stated that she had one beer and a drink with tequila about an hour ago,” the affidavit states. “I then ask on a scale from 1 being completely sober and 10 being the most impaired, she stated she was an eight.”
Komoroski allegedly refused to complete a field sobriety test when asked by officers and became uncooperative. At one point when she tried to stand up, she became unsteady on her feet and almost fell down, the affidavit said. An officer had to help her stand.
The 25-year-old was taken into custody and the department was issued a warrant to draw two vials of her blood. The results of the blood tests were not released, but Komoroski was later charged with reckless vehicular homicide and three counts of driving under the influence causing death. She faces one to 25 years in prison on each DUI count.
Komoroski has a history of speeding-related charges, local outlet WCBD reported.
Data retrieved from Komoroski’s rental car indicated she was driving 65 mph (105 km/h) and only briefly hit the brakes before she hit the golf cart, investigators said.
The groom’s mother, Annette Hutchinson, created a GoFundMe page in the wake of the tragedy to help pay for her daughter-in-law’s funeral expenses and her son’s medical bills.
She revealed that when she went to the hospital to see her son, she was handed his “wedding ring in a plastic bag at the hospital, five hours after Sam placed it on his finger and they read each other their vows.”
“Aric has lost the love of his life,” she wrote.
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Annette added that the newlyweds had just left their wedding reception on the beach and were being driven in the golf cart when the driver slammed into them. The “golf cart was thrown over 100 yards and rolled several times.”
Hutchinson will “have a long recovery” ahead of him, his mother said. He has already undergone one of two reconstruction surgeries, has numerous broken bones and is suffering from a brain injury.
The GoFundMe page has raised over US$600,000 in the wake of the tragedy, far exceeding its goal of US$100,000.
A separate GoFundMe campaign set up specifically for Miller described her as a person of “pure love.”
“There isn’t and won’t be another person on this planet that shined the way she did. She was loud. Not with her voice but with her heart,” the page reads.
“Samantha was fearless and that’s exactly how she spent the last day of her life. She was so excited to start her life with Aric. She had no nerves or hesitation that day. You could feel the love on the beach.”
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