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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Guardian staff and agencies

Bride killed moments after wedding by alleged drunk driver who hit golf cart

Aric and Samantha Hutchinson. The groom and three others were injured in the crash.
Aric and Samantha Hutchinson. The groom and three others were injured in the crash. Photograph: GoFundMe

A bride leaving her wedding reception was killed just moments after the ceremony when a drunk driver slammed into the newlywed couple’s golf cart on a South Carolina beach road, authorities said on Monday.

Samantha Miller, 34, of Charlotte, North Carolina, died in the wreck, according to the Charleston county coroner’s office. Miller had just gotten married hours earlier, Folly Beach public safety department director Andrew Gilreath said. Three others in the golf cart were injured, including the groom, who remains hospitalized and in critical condition.

The groom’s mother created a GoFundMe page to pay for her daughter-in-law’s funeral and her son’s medical bills. It included a photo of the newlyweds running under sparklers just before the crash, which caused the golf cart to roll over several times.

The page also had a photo of groom Aric Hutchinson in the hospital, where he was recovering from a brain injury and numerous broken bones. At the hospital, Annette Hutchinson wrote that she was handed a bag with her son’s wedding band five hours after his now-dead wife put it on his finger.

Data retrieved from the suspect Jamie Lee Komoroski’s rental car indicated she was driving 65 mph (105 km/h), and only briefly hit the brakes before she struck the golf cart around 10pm on Friday on Folly Beach, investigators said. Gilreath said the golf cart had lights and was legal to drive at night.

The speed limit on the island near Charleston is 25 mph (40 km/h).

Komoroski, 25, was charged with reckless vehicular homicide and three counts of driving under the influence causing death. She faces up to 25 years in prison on each DUI count.

Komoroski remained in the Charleston county jail on Monday afternoon and records did not indicate if she had a lawyer.

The Associated Press contributed reporting

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