Mother of the bride Samantha Miller had just relaxed with a change of clothes and a glass of wine on the balcony of her short-term rental when the sound of sirens gave the first impression that her daughter’s wedding night had gone wrong in Folly Beach, South Carolina.

Minutes later, Lisa Miller was driving with her new in-laws on a beach road in South Carolina, where authorities say a woman driving under the influence of alcohol at twice the speed limit crashed into a golf cart escorting the happy couple from their farewell. with sparklers. reception overlooking the Atlantic coast.

“She was around her people. And her face just lit up like…I don’t know how to describe it,” Lisa Miller said of her daughter. “That light coming off her face, she was just happy.”

A day that started happily with charcuterie and mimosas on the beach ended with hours spent in agony outside the hospital where she was mistakenly told her daughter had been taken. Lisa Miller then said she learned the bride’s father had identified the body while still at the wreckage.

The bride was killed, the groom was seriously injured by an allegedly drunk driver

Samantha Miller, 34, died Friday in Folly Beach, South Carolina, while she was in her wedding dress. The groom, Aric Hutchinson, is recovering from a traumatic brain injury and multiple broken bones after his golf cart was thrown 100 yards. Two other passengers were also reportedly injured in varying degrees of severity.

The murdered bride
This undated photo shows Samantha Miller and Aric Hutchinson. Authorities say Miller’s bride, who was leaving a wedding, was killed when the woman, who was driving under the influence and twice the speed limit, crashed into the back of a golf cart on Beach Road in South Carolina on April 28, 2023.


At the wedding reception, Samantha Miller asked the DJ to do a surprise dance with “the most important person in the bride’s life.” Soon, mom and daughter were dancing to “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars.

The act symbolized the Charlotte, North Carolina, native’s positive nature, her mother said.

“She never met strangers. She wanted to make sure everyone was taken care of. She didn’t want anyone to be sad or angry,” Lisa Miller said. “Sam doesn’t want it to ruin our lives. We know that.”

Now she and her daughter, Mandi Jenkins, are urging drivers to reconsider how a split-second decision to get behind the wheel can have long-lasting consequences for a “real family” like theirs. She directed drunk people looking for rides to apps like Uber or Lyft.

Jamie Kamaroski, 25, was charged with negligent homicide and three counts of driving while intoxicated causing death or serious bodily injury. According to a police affidavit obtained by CBS News, Kamaroski told an officer at the scene that she had a beer and a tequila drink about an hour before the crash. When asked how impaired she was on a scale of 1 to 10, Kamaroski “said she was an 8,” according to the affidavit. She then allegedly refused to take a field sobriety test and was “uncooperative at the scene.”

After Kamaroski was taken to police headquarters, a judge signed a warrant for a blood sample, and two blood samples were taken and sent to the South Carolina Division of Law Enforcement in Columbia for analysis, the affidavit said.

“We’re hoping that whoever sees this, maybe it will help someone who’s made these bad decisions in the past to stop, or maybe never make that decision, seeing that it’s affected real people,” Lisa Miller said.

The crash has drawn attention to road safety in a community that has recently moved to crack down on speeding. In 2018, Folly Beach residents successfully pushed the South Carolina Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit by five mph to 25 mph.

State Rep. Spencer Wetmore, the city administrator at the time, vowed Tuesday to continue fighting for safer roads after the “horrible tragedy” that she said “broke my heart.”

In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, Lisa Miller said she wanted to leave and never return to the beach town that was supposed to be the launching pad for her daughter’s next chapter. But since then she has been encouraged by the support of the surrounding community.

People have been bringing dinner to Lisa Miller and Jenkins for the past few nights. A realtor hooked them up with an oceanfront condo where they plan to stay for free for the next month.

Injured groom ‘will need a lot of support’

Now Lisa Miller said she wants to move there and be around “kind, genuinely caring people.” Both emphasized that they want to help Hutchinson, the fiancé, in his recovery.

“It’s not going to be over when he gets out of the hospital. He’s going to need a lot of physical and emotional support,” Jenkins said. “And we’ll be there for him too.”

The groom’s mother, Annette Hutchinson, set up a GoFundMe page to pay for her daughter-in-law’s funeral and her son’s medical bills. It featured a photo of the newlyweds running under sparklers just before the crash.

“I was presented with Arik’s wedding ring in a plastic bag at the hospital five hours after Sam put it on my finger and they read their vows to each other,” she wrote. “Arik lost the love of his life.”

As of Wednesday morning, the GoFundMe page had raised more than $580,000.

The murdered bride
This undated photo provided by Samantha Miller shows Miller and her fiance-to-be, Arik Hutchinson.


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