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16th May 2023

Husband of bride killed on wedding day speaks out for the first time

Steve Hopkins

‘It just means the world. She left that impact’

Aric Hutchinson, whose wife Samatha Miller was killed shortly after they got married, has spoken for the first time since the accident that claimed her life.

The couple were leaving their wedding reception in Folly Beach, North Carolina, in a golf cart on April 28 when it was struck by an alleged drunk driver, later named as 25-year-old Jamie Lee Komoroski. The newlywed’s family members, Benjamin and Brogan Garret, were also in the vehicle at the time.

The cart, fitted with a ‘just married’ sign, was allegedly hit by a driver doing 65mph in a 25mph zone, was thrown 100 yards and flipped several times.

Samantha, 34, died from her injuries, while Aric, 36, had to undergo reconstruction surgeries after suffering broken bones and a brain injury. Benjamin and Brogan also suffered injuries.

Komoroski has been charged with one count of reckless vehicular homicide, along with three counts of felony driving under the influence (DUI) resulting in death and/or great bodily injury. According to a police report of the crash her blood alcohol level was three times over the legal limit and she was in a confused state, saying: “All of a sudden something hit me. I did nothing wrong.”

Her lawyers have urged people not to “rush to judgement” before the matters is heard in court and “all facts will come to light”.

Since the accident, Aric has reportedly visited the crash site and spoken about the tragedy for the first time.

He is said to have thrown flowers with ‘Sam’ written on the stems into the ocean.

Explaining what his wife would have made of the tribute, he reportedly said: “She would’ve loved it. This is Sam. I mean, she’s a beach girl, through and through. We do walk here almost every morning, and this is her send-off for sure. She’s up there smiling for sure.”

Aric said he was slowly recovering and “feeling pretty good”. His body, he was, is getting back to “where I can manage”.

“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.

“It’s a little overwhelming; 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.”

Live 5 reported that Aric watched well-wishers paddle into the sea and throw the flowers with Samantha’s name on them from the shoreline as he sat in a wheelchair.

A GoFundMe page set up in the wake of the tragedy to “help pay for Sam’s burial and medical costs for Aric and his family” had raised over $723,000 (£628) by Tuesday morning.

More than $630,000 raised for groom whose wife was killed minutes after wedding reception

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Bride killed moments after leaving wedding reception when alleged drunk driver hit golf cart