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Widowed groom files wrongful death lawsuit against alleged drunk driver over wife’s death

<i>From Annette Hutchinson</i><br/>Aric and Samantha Hutchinson are seen in this image that has been partially blurred by CNN for privacy. Aric has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on May 17 against the alleged drunk driver accused of killing his wife.
From Annette Hutchinson
Aric and Samantha Hutchinson are seen in this image that has been partially blurred by CNN for privacy. Aric has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on May 17 against the alleged drunk driver accused of killing his wife.

By Alisha Ebrahimji and Rebekah Riess, CNN

(CNN) — Aric Hutchinson is still trying to wrap his head around the idea that his wife is no longer here on Earth with him after the couple were involved in a car crash that proved fatal for her on their wedding night in South Carolina.

Now, the groom has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the alleged drunk driver involved in the crash and a number of local establishments where the driver had been “bar hopping” throughout the day, according to a news release from an attorney representing Hutchinson and the lawsuit.

While he doesn’t remember the crash itself, Aric Hutchinson remembers one of the last things his new wife, Samantha Hutchinson, 34, said to him: “She wanted the night to never end,” he said during an exclusive interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday.

South Carolina authorities say Jamie Lee Komoroski, 25, drove her car into the newlywed couple’s golf-cart-style vehicle.

The bride died of blunt force injuries, according to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office. Aric Hutchinson, his brother-in-law and the couple’s nephew were also injured in the crash, GMA reported.

“She (Komoroski) stole an amazing human being that should not have been taken,” Aric Hutchinson said.

The lawsuit, which is also an injury lawsuit filed by the brother-in-law and nephew, claims Komoroski visited the El Gallo Bar and Grill in Charleston before making her way to Folly Beach, where she began bar hopping on Center Street, with stops at several bars and restaurants.

CNN has reached out to the other establishments named in the suit and is awaiting comment.

“Despite being noticeably and visibly intoxicated at each of these establishments,” the lawsuit states, “Jaime Komoroski continued to be served, provided, and/or allowed to consume additional alcohol at each of them.”

Chris Gramiccioni, an attorney representing Komoroski in the criminal case said he and his client “ask that there not be a rush to judgment.”

“We cannot fathom what the families are going through and offer our deepest sympathies,” the statement said. “Our court system is founded upon principles of justice and mercy and that is where all facts will come to light.”

“The state grants restaurants and bars a license for the privilege to serve alcohol, and with that privilege comes a responsibility to the community to serve patrons responsibly and to deny service to individuals who are visibly intoxicated,” Danny Dalton, Hutchinson’s attorney, said.

Komoroski was a new employee of a local restaurant, Taco Boy, and her supervisor is accused of “organizing, arranging, and supervising an employee function/meeting knowing that excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages would be purchased for, served to, and consumed by the employees attending the function/meeting,” the lawsuit says.

“We can confirm with absolute certainty that Jamie Komoroski did not set foot in Taco Boy, nor did anyone on our team serve her alcohol at the restaurant,” Taco Boy said in a statement in response to the lawsuit. “We have confirmed this by watching 16 hours of video footage from multiple cameras, staff interviews with everyone working that day, and by reviewing all sales receipts.”

Komoroski’s blood alcohol level was over three times the legal limit at the time of the crash, according to a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division toxicology report. She is now charged with one count of reckless homicide and three counts of felony DUI resulting in great bodily harm, online court records show.

Two broken legs, broken bones in his face, subsequent injuries and multiple surgeries later, Aric Hutchinson is finding comfort being back in the apartment the couple shared, he said.

“It’s hard but it’s also nice, he said. “It’s got Sam written all over the house.”

Komoroski remains in custody, jail records show.

“If this (lawsuit) stops one person from getting in their car while intoxicated, or helps someone have the courage to step up and stop that from happening, or helps an establishment really take a hard stand on over-serving people – that’s something positive that can come out of out of this,” Dalton said Wednesday.

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