A pair of newlyweds leaving their wedding reception in a golf cart were rear-ended by an allegedly drunk driver who was travelling well over twice the speed limit on Friday in South Carolina, authorities said.
The 34-year-old bride, Samantha Miller, died in the wreck, according to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office. The groom, Aric Hutchinson, was seriously injured.
The newlyweds had just left their wedding reception on Folly Beach, an island near Charleston, S.C., and were driving in a golf cart along the beach road, where the speed limit is 25 mph (40 km/h). At around 10 p.m., a rental car slammed into the golf cart from behind.
Jamie Lee Komoroski, 25, who is accused of driving the under the influence, was arrested and detained.
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.
Folly Beach Public Safety Department director Andrew Gilreath said the golf cart had lights and was legal to drive at night.
Hours before the tragic wreck, Miller and Hutchinson had tied the knot.
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.
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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.
Annette added that when the driver slammed into them, the “golf cart was thrown over 100 yards and rolled several times.”
Two other people were escorting the couple in the golf cart when the wreck occurred, Annette said, her “son-in-law Benjamin Garrett and grandson Brogan Garret.” Both were injured, with Garrett’s condition being serious.
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. Annette shared photos of her son recovering in hospital.
Komoroski has been 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.
She remained in the Charleston County jail Monday afternoon and records did not indicate if she had a lawyer.
— With files from The Associated Press