Two South Carolina beach bars that served accused drunk driver Jamie Komoroski until she was ‘visibly intoxicated’ have settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the widower of a bride killed while Komoroski was behind the wheel.
The Crab Shack and The Drop In Bar & Deli settled for an undisclosed amount with Aric Hutchinson, 36, whose new wife Samantha Miller was killed in a horror wreck allegedly caused by Komoroski on April 28, the day of their wedding.
Both bars, located in Charleston, are joined in the settlement by Progressive Northern Insurance Co., according to WLTX.
Hutchinson sued the watering holes as he claimed they allowed Komoroski to become blackout drunk on a ‘booze-filled day’, which ended when she allegedly killed Miller by slamming her car into a golf cart carrying the newlyweds.
Aric Hutchinson has settled a wrongful death lawsuit against two bars and an insurance provider for facilitating the drunk driving smash that killed his new bride Samantha (pictured together on their wedding day)
Jamie Lee Komoroski, 25, is pictured in a mugshot after the fatal crash that killed the bride on her wedding night
The Crab Shack (left) and the Drop In Bar (right) in Charleston, South Carolina served Komoroski ‘copious amounts of alcohol’ and failed to stop her binging when she became ‘visibly intoxicated’, Hutchinson’s lawsuit claims
Komoroski is currently awaiting trial for the wedding day wreck from behind bars, with Hutchinson’s lawsuit claiming the fateful car accident came after she was ‘bar hopping’ through the day near Folly Beach.
The grieving widower claimed that the bars served Komoroski ‘copious amounts of alcohol’ and failed to stop her binging when she became ‘visibly intoxicated.’
At the same time as Komorodki’s spree, Hutchinson and Miller were celebrating their nuptials on Folly Beach, with heartbreaking pictures showing the happy couple beaming down the aisle moments before tragedy struck.
As the newlyweds, joined by Hutchinson’s brother-in-law Ben Garrett and nephew Brogan, moved to their next location in a golf buggy, Komoroski got behind the wheel of her Toyota Camry despite having a blood-alcohol level of 0.261 – over three times the legal limit.
She was speeding at 65mph in a 25mph zone at around 10pm when she allegedly struck the back of the golf cart, which sent it flipping over itself numerous times across a distance of around 100 yards.
Miller was killed instantly, and her new husband and his brother-in-law suffered severe injuries. Moments after the tragedy, Komoroski reportedly told cops she ‘did nothing wrong.’
The ‘sweet’ newlyweds and two other occupants of the buggy were inside the vehicle when it rolled several times over 100 yards, killing the bride instantly
Aric alleged that Komoroski (seen in a Halloween costume as ‘Bud Lightyear’) was on a ‘booze filled day bar hopping’ before getting behind the wheel
The couple’s mangled golf cart is pictured after the crash. The cart rolled multiple times and was thrown 100 yards by Komoroski’s Toyota Camry
Aric suffered a brain injury, numerous broken bones and underwent two reconstructive surgeries, and filed his wrongful death lawsuit soon after
Hutchinson suffered a brain injury alongside numerous broken bones, and underwent two reconstruction surgeries before filing the wrongful death lawsuit against Komoroski and the bars that served her soon after.
The settlement will see the two bars and the insurance provider pay attorneys’ fees in the amount of a third of the total settlement, plus any additional relief the judge could include.
The judge in the case also reportedly still has to approve the petition of approval.
After the settlement was reached, Hutchinson’s attorney Daniel Dalton said it was ‘reasonable and proper and fully protects the right of the statutory beneficiary under the Wrongful Death Act.’
According to Hutchinson’s suit, Komoroski’s binge drinking spree started drinking at El Gallo Bar and Grill near Daniel Island.
She then traveled to Folly Beach, where she began bar hopping down Center Street – including the Drop In, The Crab Shack, and Snapper Jack.
Hutchinson’s lawyers argued at the time of the filing that the bars where she drank have ‘a duty of care not to allow patrons to become intoxicated, to not serve alcohol to intoxicated persons.’
Tributes poured in for the bride after the tragedy, where she was described as ‘one of the kindest people’
Heartbreaking images showed the happy couple beaming as they celebrated their nuptials, just moments before the horror drunk driving wreck that killed Samantha and severely injured Aric
Jamie Komoroski, 25, (right) has been indicted on four charges relating to the crash that killed Samantha Hutchinson, 34, in Folly Beach, South Carolina on April 28.
Komoroski was a new employee of Taco Boy, and her supervisor was also accused in the suit of ‘organizing, arranging, and supervising an employee function knowing that excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages would be purchased for, served to, and consumed by the employees attending the function.’
After allegedly plowing her car into the newlyweds, she reportedly told responding officers: ‘All of a sudden something hit me. I did nothing wrong.’
Following her arrest, she called her parents from the prison two days after the crash crying: ‘Oh my God. I just can’t believe this happened to me. … Why me? … I’m going to be here for years and years and years and years.’
‘I can’t believe this is my life… my whole life is going to be over,’ she added.
Grand jury indictments against Komoroski were filed on September 12, charging her with driving under the influence resulting in death, two counts of DUI with great bodily injury and reckless homicide.
After previously facing allegations that she was receiving preferential treatment in the investigation, with Komoroski telling her parents from behind bars that Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano is ‘trying to help [her] out’, she broke down in tears in August as her bail request was denied.
A judge had determined that she was a flight risk, and she will await trial from prison so long as it begins by March 2024.
She has been accused of receiving special treatment in the jail, having in-person visits from her family – which is not a privilege normally extended to inmates
Traci Komoroski, 62, the mother of Jamie Lee Komoroski, 25, was in an crash in 2013 that resulted in the death of Forest Fire Service Warden Jeffrey Scheuerer
She could face up to 25 years in prison for the death of the bride, as well of a fine of up to $25,100, and an additional 15 years and $10,100 for the serious injury caused to the men in the buggy.
For the reckless homicide she could be handed a sentence of 10 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5,000 – as well as having her license revoked for five years on her release.
Komoroski was first charged with speeding on 31 May 2018 in Horry County, South Carolina – home of Myrtle Beach and Coastal Carolina University, which she attended school.
She was accused of speeding less than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, to which she pleaded guilty and paid a $76.50 fine.
Later that year, Komoroski pleaded guilty to a count of driving a vehicle at a speed that is unreasonable road conditions. She was arrested in November during a rare freeze warning in the popular tourist area.
In 2019, Komoroski was again charged with speeding 10mph or less over the speed limit, to which she again pleaded guilty and paid another $76.50.
More recently, she was cited for failure to use a turn signal or stop signal, to which she pleaded guilty on April 5, 2023, and paid a $25 fine.