A Saturday vigil was held at Folly Beach, S.C., in remembrance of a woman killed shortly after her April wedding.
After their wedding reception, Samantha Hutchinson, 34, and her new husband, Aric were riding in a golf cart reportedly struck by a vehicle driven by a woman police allege was severely intoxicated.
The New York Post further reported:
Aric Hutchinson, 36 — who suffered broken bones and a brain injury in the April 28 crash after the newlyweds’ reception — sat in a wheelchair on the sand as he joined about a hundred people on Folly Beach on Saturday to honor the life of his bride, Samantha Hutchinson, 34.
“She would’ve loved it,” Hutchinson told Live 5 News of Saturday’s emotional ceremony, which took place at the beach where the pair was married — and included mourners paddling out to the ocean to release flowers whose stems had “Sam” written on them.
“This is Sam. I mean, she’s a beach girl, through and through,” Hutchinson said. “We do walk here almost every morning, and this is her send-off for sure. She’s up there smiling for sure.”
Hutchinson is still in a wheelchair after undergoing multiple reconstructive surgeries to his face and to repair fractured bones in his legs.
Saturday’s vigil was his first public outing since being released from the hospital last week.
Despite the injuries, Hutchinson told reporters at the vigil that he was feeling “pretty good.
“My body’s getting back to where I can manage, I guess. It’s just as good as I can feel with the situation,” he said.
Hutchinson and Samantha were riding in a golf cart with two family members after their wedding reception when suspected drunken driver Jamie Lee Komoroski, 25, slammed her car into the back of their legal, slow-moving vehicle. She was allegedly going 65 mph in the 25-mph speed zone.
The impact sent the golf cart flying 100 yards and rolling over multiple times, killing Samantha, who was in her wedding dress.
Komoroski had a blood-alcohol level of 0.261 at the time of the crash, more than three times the legal limit, according to a toxicology report from South Carolina police.
When Folly Beach police Sgt. Zac Halpern asked her how drunk she was on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being sober, he said he heard her mumble that she was at an 8 before demanding a lawyer.
Komoroski is being held without bond at the Charleston County Detention Center on three counts of felony DUI resulting in death or serious bodily injury and reckless homicide.
The heartbreaking fatal crash has garnered nationwide attention, with a GoFundMe page to help pay for Samantha’s burial cost and Hutchinson’s hospital bills raising more than $720,000 as of Monday.
Hutchinson said he is incredibly moved by the outpouring of support for him and his family through the fundraiser and the dozens of people who joined him for Saturday’s vigil.
“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,” Hutchinson said. “It just means the world. She left that impact.”
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