The South Carolina husband whose bride was killed by an alleged drunken driver on their wedding night spoke out publicly for the first time, doing so on Saturday on the same beach where they exchanged their vows.
That man is Aric Hutchinson, 36. He was seriously injured in the crash, sent to the ICU in the hospital after the drunk driver’s car struck his golf cart and shattered two of his vertebrae, among other bones. Sitting in a wheelchair on the Folly Beach shoreline with about 100 other people, he helped hold a vigil for his recently deceased wife.
“She would’ve loved it,” Hutchinson told Live5 WCSC of the vigil. “This is Sam. I mean, she’s a beach girl, through and through. We do walk here almost every morning, and this is her send-off for sure. She’s up there smiling for sure.”
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Hutchinson added “My body’s getting back to where I can manage, I guess. It’s just as good as I can feel with the situation, but obviously, today and the outpouring of people was just amazing. I know Sam would love it.”
“There are sincere, genuine, good-hearted people that are just reaching out that felt a reason to, or somehow they were touched by Sam. It just means the world that she left that impact,” he said.
A GoFundMe created for the couple has raised nearly three-quarters of a million dollars, far over is $100,000 goal. The most recent update to it says:
On April 28th, what started as the happiest day for Aric and Sam ended with a tragedy. While our hearts are broken along with the Millers, we never could have imagined how sharing our story would result in the tremendous outpouring of love, support, and overwhelming generosity we have received from friends, family, co-workers, and strangers.
As so many of you have inquired I wanted to provide an update on our family…
We are missing Sam more than anything, she instantly fit into our family from the first day Aric and Sam met, she was everything to my son and changed him for the better. She could light up a room with her presence and had an ease about her. They shared many hopes and dreams for their future including children and building a house.
From the accident Aric received multiple injuries including two broken legs, one which had to be surgically repaired. Broken bones in his face which also had to be surgically repaired. Broken vertebrae’s in his back, brain bleeds, and numerous cuts with stitches. He is physically recovering at home while trying to come to terms with the loss of his beautiful wife. Now he is doing the unimaginable of planning Sam’s funeral along with her family.
Ben is recovering in the burn unit where he underwent surgery to clean out and redress his severe road rash and open wounds. Plastic surgeon’s also addressed his facial stitches and some on his hands. He will need another skin graft back home in Utah at some point. He needs to be able to put weight on his legs, and his wounds to start healing before he can return home.
Thankfully Brogan only suffered minor injuries. We truly believe a guardian angel was with him that night. Our hope is that with love and support he can get through the trauma of having been involved in this horrific accident at 17.
All three are being incredibly strong despite the pain they are suffering.
We wish to thank everyone who has given us hope through thoughtful words of encouragement and generous donations. Also the communities of support in Folly Beach, James Island, Charleston, South Carolina and back home in Utah, who are helping us get through this a day at a time. Also, our hearts go out to the first on the scene, first responders, the police, and all the staff at MUSC hospital, we are forever changed by the love we have received.
Featured image credit: GoFundMe
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