It was supposed to be their happiest day, but it became a horrific nightmare. A newlywed couple and their two friends were riding in a golf cart on Folly Beach, South Carolina when they were hit by a speeding car driven by a drunk woman. The bride, Samantha Miller, 34, died on the spot, while her husband, Aric Hutchinson, and the other two passengers suffered severe injuries. The driver, Jamie Lee Komoroski, 25, showed no remorse and claimed she did nothing wrong.
She was taken into custody and accused of committing several serious crimes, including homicide. It is the story of the Folly Beach accident that shocked and saddened the nation, and in this post, we will tell you everything about the Folly Beach Accident and how it happened.
Folly Beach Accident Details
The Folly Beach accident occurred on Friday, April 28, 2023, around 10:30 p.m. According to the police report, Jamie Lee Komoroski was driving a 2019 Toyota Camry on Center Street, the main road of Folly Beach, at 65 mph in a 25 mph zone. She was under the influence of alcohol, with a blood alcohol level of 0.18%, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08%. She failed to stop at a red light and crashed into a golf cart crossing the intersection of Center Street and East Ashley Avenue.
The golf cart was carrying four people: Samantha Miller, 34, and Aric Hutchinson, 36, who had just gotten married earlier that day at the Folly Beach Baptist Church; and their friends, Jessica Smith, 32, and Ryan Jones, 33, who were part of the wedding party. The collision had a significant impact, causing the golf cart to be propelled several feet into the air and land on the sidewalk. In addition, the car collided with a utility pole and a parked vehicle before coming to a halt.
Tragically, Samantha Miller was pronounced deceased at the scene by paramedics due to sustaining multiple injuries from blunt force trauma to her head, chest, and abdomen. Aric Hutchinson was rushed to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Hospital with critical injuries, including a fractured skull, a broken neck, and internal bleeding. He underwent emergency surgery and was placed in a medically induced coma. Jessica Smith and Ryan Jones were also taken to the MUSC Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. They sustained fractures, lacerations, and concussions.
Jamie Lee Komoroski Arrest
Jamie Lee Komoroski, a Coastal Carolina University graduate, was not injured in the crash. She got out of her car and walked away from the scene. She was stopped by a witness who called 911 and reported the accident. When the police arrived, they found Komoroski sitting on a bench near the beach. She appeared to be intoxicated and disoriented.
She told the officers that she had been drinking at a nearby bar and was going home. She said she did not see the golf cart or the red light and did nothing wrong. She refused to take a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test. She became belligerent and combative when the officers tried to arrest her. The suspect initially resisted arrest and physically assaulted one of the officers by kicking them in the groin. Eventually, she was successfully restrained and detained by law enforcement.
She was then transported to the Folly Beach Police Department, where she underwent the standard booking process and faced charges for three felony DUIs resulting in serious injury or death, as well as one count of reckless homicide. She was also cited for speeding, running a red light, leaving the scene of an accident, and assaulting a police officer.
Conditional Release Denied for Komoroski in Drunk Driving Case
Komoroski’s defense attorneys had previously requested a $100,000 bond in order to secure her release. The condition attached to this bond was that she entered a substance abuse rehabilitation program. They argued that she posed no danger to the community and was unlikely to flee, citing her lack of criminal history and solid familial support. However, during a court appearance on August 1, which Miller’s grieving mother attended, Judge Michael Nettles ordered Komoroski to remain in custody until the trial commences, assuming it begins as scheduled in March 2024.
Should the trial face delays, Komoroski may be granted release on a $150,000 surety bond, subject to electronic monitoring and house arrest. Hutchinson, mourning the loss of his lovely bride, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Komoroski in May, alleging that she engaged in a day of excessive drinking at various establishments before getting behind the wheel. Despite her visible signs of intoxication, these establishments continued to serve her copious amounts of alcohol. In addition to Komoroski, Taco Boy, her former employer, and her boss were named in the lawsuit for enabling, encouraging, pressuring, and ultimately forcing her to consume alcohol beyond the point of apparent intoxication.
The Victims of the Folly Beach Accident
The Folly Beach accident shocked and saddened the community of Folly Beach and beyond. The victims were well-known and well-liked by many people. Samantha Miller was a kindergarten teacher at James Island Elementary School. She had been teaching there for six years and was loved by her students and colleagues. Aric Hutchinson was a firefighter at the Folly Beach Fire Department. He had been working there for eight years and was respected by fellow firefighters and the public.
Jessica Smith and Ryan Jones were both nurses at the MUSC Hospital. They had been friends with Samantha and Aric since college and were part of their wedding party. The Folly Beach accident also sparked outrage and anger at Jamie Lee Komoroski’s actions and attitude. Many people expressed disgust and disbelief at her lack of remorse and responsibility. They demanded justice for the victims and their families. They also called for stricter laws and penalties for drunk driving offenders.
The Folly Beach accident is one of the most tragic and horrific events that has ever happened in Folly Beach. It has left a lasting scar on the hearts and minds of many people who knew or cared about the victims. It has also raised awareness and concern about the dangers and consequences of drunk driving. It has shown that one person’s selfish and reckless decision can instantly destroy many lives.