Husband remembers wife killed in wedding night crash: ‘She’s up there smiling’
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - A man is mourning the loss of his newlywed bride as he continues to recover from the wedding night crash that left him with lasting scars.
While still wearing her wedding dress, Samantha Miller, 34, died on Folly Beach on April 28 when a car rear-ended her wedding party’s golf cart. Her husband, Aric Hutchinson, and two others were onboard the cart.
At least a hundred people gathered on Folly Beach Saturday morning, including Hutchinson, who visited the very beach the couple was married on for the first time since the crash.
“She would’ve loved it,” Hutchinson says. ”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.”
Friends, family and members of the Folly Beach community paddled out into the water to honor Samantha’s life by throwing flowers into the ocean with “Sam” written on the stems.
Hutchinson sat on the shoreline in a wheelchair after sustaining a brain injury and multiple broken bones after the golf cart was thrown 100 yards.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” he adds. “My body’s getting back to where I can manage, I guess. 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.”
Thousands of people from all over the country have donated to the GoFundMe page to help pay for Samantha’s burial and medical costs for Aric and his family.
As of Saturday, the page has now raised over $719,000.
Locally, Hutchinson says the people of Folly Beach, some that had no connection to the couple, have donated food during his recovery, as well as showing love and prayers.
“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,” he says. “It just means the world. She left that impact.”
Tara Novit, who surfs on Folly Beach and helped organize the event, says the community treats everyone like one big family.
“That’s one thing about this community is that we all come together when tragedy hits,” Novit says. “It really is a tragedy for Folly Beach, and we’re all grieving with the family.”
The two other occupants, including Hutchinson’s brother-in-law, Ben Garret, is now home in Utah after suffering from severe road rash and lacerations to his skin. The other passenger, Garret’s 17-year-old son, is home in Utah as well.
Danny Dalton, Hutchinson’s Lawyer, says it is going to be a long recovery but they are going to pull through.
The driver of the vehicle that struck the golf cart was arrested and identified by police as Jamie Komoroski. The vehicle she was driving was traveling at a speed of 65 mph when it struck the golf cart, police say.
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