Jamie Lee Komoroksi ‘slurred and staggered her way’ through a deadly bar-hopping spree that culminated in the fatal crash that killed new bride, Samantha Hutchinson.
Now, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal the path Komoroski’s took that night, as we retrace her steps and each stage that she chose to keep going and keep drinking.
And we can reveal the haunting moment that newlyweds Aric, 36, and Samantha, 34, may have unwittingly crossed paths with the girl who would soon be their ending, as they headed home.
Twenty-five-year-old Komoroski had recently started working at Taco Boy, a Mexican restaurant with several locations including one on Folly Island.
Jamie Lee Komoroski had a blood alcohol level three times higher than the legal driving limit when she crashed a Toyota Camry into newlyweds Samantha, 34, and Aric Hutchinson, 36
Komoroski, 25, (right) is charged with three counts of felony DUI and is currently being held without bond in North Charleston after crashing into the newlywed couple
She started her drinking spree at ‘El Gallo Bar & Grill’ a small roadside establishment near Daniel’s Island some 25 miles and a 40-minute drive away.
From El Gallo she headed to Folly Beach’s Center Street. The heart of the quaint South Carolina beach front town, it is peppered with stores selling flip flops, T-shirts, souvenirs and surf gear as well as bars and restaurants, many casually opened onto the street.
Places like the Drop Inn, a hole in the wall surfing bar, The Crab Shack just a few steps across the street and Snapper Jacks, a yard or two further on.
The bars are just feet from each other – a ‘staggering’ walk along Folly Beach’s main drag for Komoroski, who visited then all that night according to Hutchinson’s lawyers.
The grieving groom filed a wrongful death lawsuit filed last week against Komoroski and a host of establishments in which she drank on April 28. According to the suit she was drinking with colleagues and a supervisor from her new job.
Part of the culture of the restaurant, as alleged by the suit, was that ‘getting the most and/or best work shifts and/ or hours, getting the best tables for the best tips, etc’ was ‘at least implicitly conditioned upon’ getting on well with management who organized nights which included ‘the consumption of alcohol.’
Taco Boy, which is named as a defendant has issued a statement categorically denying that Komoroski drank in their establishment or was served alcohol by any of their members of staff that day.
DailyMail.com retraced Komoroski’s steps. She started at ‘El Gallo Bar & Grill’ a small roadside establishment near Daniel’s Island some 25 miles and a 40 minute drive from Folly Island to where she headed next
According to husband Aric Hutchinson’s lawsuit, Komoroski ‘slurred and staggered her way through each of these bars’ drinking beer and tequila shots. She stopped at The Drop In (pictured) on Center Street
Komoroski stopped at the Crab Shack (pictured) during her da of drinking, according to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Aric Hutchinson against multiple parties including Komoroski, 25, and the bars that served her, a ‘booze-filled day of bar hopping’ that preceded the horrific tragedy
Snapper Jacks, on the corner of Center Street and West Ashley Avenue is the last place that Komoroski drank that night
The statement noted that there was nothing in Komoroski’s background check that raised ‘red flags’ and said, ‘On the day of the accident 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.’
After drinking at the Drop Inn, Komoroski made her way to the Crab Shack across the road.
The ramshackle clapboard bar sits on the corner of Center Street and East Erie Avenue – just a couple of hundred yards from East Ashley Avenue, along which Komoroski would later drive.
Jamie Lee Komoroski, 25, is pictured in a mugshot after the fatal crash last month where she killed a bride on her wedding night
At Crab Shack she could have knocked back seven-dollar cocktails and frozen rum-based concoctions like the ‘Crazy Colada’ or a banana, strawberry, peach or lime, ‘Shackaiquiri.’ Instead, she allegedly stuck to beer and tequila shots before heading on into the evening.
She didn’t get far. A handful of steps along the street she stopped into Snapper Jacks a sprawling, colorful establishment, painted in primary colors, with patio doors thrown open onto the street and a huge plastic shark thrashing mid-air over the bar.
Here, time doesn’t matter much as patrons eat tacos and drink potent rum and tequila-based cocktails served up in vast ‘Fishbowls.’
According to Hutchinson’s lawsuit, Komoroski kept going and kept drinking. She ‘slurred and staggered her way through each of these bars,’ drinking beer, tequila shots, and ‘shift shots’ of liquors on the house until, by the end of the night, she was ‘grossly and dangerously intoxicated
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
Around the same time that Komoroski was ‘wrapping up her drunken escapade,’ at Snapper Jack’s, Hutchinson and Samantha were preparing to leave their reception on the back of their wedding-themed golf cart.
Only a few hours earlier the newlyweds had posed for pictures with family and friends, three miles away, on the idyllic South Carolina sands then danced and laughed at the reception in Folly County Park pavilion.
Samantha told friends she wished the day ‘would never end.’
In fact, as it came to a close, their journey may have taken them unwittingly within touching distance of the woman who would kill them.
Snapper Jacks is the last place that Komoroski drank that night. The newlyweds would have driven right past its door, as they crossed west to east over Center Street and on along East Ashley Avenue.
They would have driven by, their cart trailing ‘just married’ decorations, while revelers spilled out on the street, music played, and drinks flowed. Was one of them Komoroski?
Or was she propping up the bar, having just one last shot before getting behind the wheel of her car and heading, the wrong way as it turned out, home?
Police noted she gave her address as a home on James Island which is in the opposite direction from the way she drove from Center Street that night.
Yesterday, never-before-seen footage obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com showed the couple’s golf cart in the final stretch of the night now infamous for the devastating crash that claimed Samantha’s life just minutes later.
Surveillance footage from the road on which the crash took place shows the golf cart carrying the bride and groom and two other family members.
They pass by a house on Folly Island’s East Ashley Avenue as they return from their wedding reception, at approximately 10.11pm.
Surveillance footage from the road on which the crash took place, obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com, shows the golf cart carrying the bride and groom and two other family members slowly drive by
Two minutes after the gold cart is seen on camera, a car driven by Komoroski, 25, speeds by
Two minutes later a car driven by Komoroski speeds by that same camera.
Traveling at roughly four times the cart’s pace it is out of sight in six seconds – set on its terrible collision course and just seven hundred yards from where it ploughed into the golf cart.
Drunk at the wheel, Komoroski covered the distance in seconds. With more than three times the legal alcohol limit in her system, police have said, she drove at speeds of up to 65mph in the 25mph zone.
Aric’s brother-in-law Benjamin Garrett was driving the golf cart with his young son, Brogan, sitting beside him in the passenger seat. Aric and his bride rode behind.
The whole awful affair was over within five minutes of the golf cart first entering into view in this footage.
A terrible cavalcade of police cars and ambulances, their lights flashing, follows minutes after Komoroski’s speeding Toyota Camry tears by.
According to the probable cause affidavit provided by Officer D C Burke, and seen by DailyMail.com, he was the first officer on the scene and arrived at 10.16pm.
He stated, ‘As I triaged all patients, I located Samantha Hutchinson who was not breathing and [had] no pulse.
In a strange twist it last week emerged that Komoroski’s mother Traci too was once involved in a fatal car crash
‘I also located Garrett and Aric. All patients were in and out of consciousness. So, I focused life saving measures on Samantha, but she was pronounced deceased on scene.’
Her husband and brother-in-law Garrett sustained, ‘open fractures and massive trauma.’
Hutchinson was released from hospital after ten days having suffered a brain bleed and undergoing multiple reconstructive surgeries to repair fractured bones in his legs and face and broken vertebrae.
Komoroski has been charged on three counts of Felony DUI with death and or great bodily injury. She is currently being held without bond in Sheriff Al Canon Detention Center in North Charleston.
Officer Burke noted that as soon as he had rendered what medical aid, he could to the victims he, ‘switched hats and started the DUI investigation with the driver Jamie Komoroski.’
He could, he recalled, smell ‘an odor of alcohol coming from her breath and person.’ When asked, she stated that she had, ‘one beer and a drink with tequila about an hour ago.’
And she refused to give a breath sample that night, insisting that, on a scale of 1 to 10 – 10 being utterly sober – she was ‘an 8.’
Vials of blood taken and tested told a very different story placing her blood alcohol at 0.261 per cent. The legal limit in South Carolina is 0.08 per cent.
Once cleared medically Komoroski, who was uninjured, was taken to Charleston County Jail where she was put on suicide watch having told the arresting officer and hospital staff that she ‘wanted to kill herself.’
According to a motion for bond filed on Komoroski’s behalf and seen by DailyMail.com, the 25-year-old has been painted ‘an unrepentant villain’ and ‘party girl.’
In snippets of recorded jail visits from family members obtained and published by the Post and Courier, Komoroski is shown weeping and wailing ‘why me?’ filled with apparent self-pity and saying that her life is over.
But in their motion which asked for bond to be set at $100,000 her lawyers assert, that this image of Komoroski is unfair.
They present the picture of a troubled girl, wracked with anguish and willing to undergo the necessary rehabilitation and work to address the underlying problems of dependency, depression and anxiety that took such a tragic turn.
They state that she has ‘struggled’ with these since her days at the Coastal Carolina University in which she enrolled in 2020.
In snippets of recorded jail visits from family members obtained and published by the Post and Courier, Komoroski is shown weeping and wailing ‘why me?’ filled with apparent self-pity and saying that her life is over
She used alcohol to ‘cope with loneliness, stress and often crippling levels of anxiety which was then untreated,’ they state.
They go on to explain that ‘In recent months, Jamie’s anxiety has increased exponentially, and in the last year [she] has sought treatment…for severe anxiety and depression.’
According to the bond motion, she now suffers from facial tics ‘brought on by mounting and unabated anxiety.’
If released on bond she would, her lawyers suggest, stay with her mother, Traci, in her home state of New Jersey.
In a strange twist it last week emerged that Traci too was once involved in a fatal car crash.
In 2013, Komoroski’s 62-year-old mother killed Forest Fire Service Warden Jeffery Scheuerer when she could not see him due to heavy smoke as he battled a blaze in Clinton Township, New Jersey.
It was deemed a ‘tragic accident’ as a sudden wind shift obscured his firetruck which was partially blocking a lane of traffic and its flashing lights. No charges were filed.
Komoroski’s new motion for bond will be heard at her next court appearance, June 16.