The mother of a South Carolina woman who allegedly drove drunk and fatally hit a newlywed bride earlier this month was accused of “carelessly” striking and killing a firefighter in a 2013 car crash.
Traci Komoroski, mother of DUI suspect Jamie Lee Komoroski, was involved in a New Jersey collision in March 2013 that left firefighter Jeffrey Scheuerer, 35, dead, according to court documents and local reports.
A 2014 civil lawsuit that Scheuerer’s estate filed against Komoroski alleged that the then-52-year-old woman “negligently and carelessly failed to appreciate [Scheuerer] and the general firefighting activity in the area, resulting in her striking [Scheuerer’s] body causing grievous and ultimately fatal injuries.”
“As a direct and proximate result of the aforesaid carelessness, negligence and recklessness of the defendants, [Scheuerer] was violently struck, sustaining painful and permanent injuries and resultant death,” according to the complaint, which sought a trial by jury at the time.
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The plaintiffs and Komoroski ultimately reached a $100,000 settlement in the case.
Then-Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns released the results of a preliminary investigation into the crash in April 2013 that found a “sudden” shift of wind on the morning of March 28, 2013, caused smoke to block three drivers’ views of a firetruck blocking Lebanon-Stanton Road with its emergency lights flashing, according to the Hunterdon County Democrat.
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The third driver, Komoroski, ultimately struck the firetruck, killing Scheuerer.
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Scheuerer was “operating a hose reel on the driver’s side of the firetruck and was in the southbound lane” when a “sudden shift in the wind brought heavy smoke into the roadway and caused a significant reduction in visibility,” Kearns said of the collision.
As the wind and smoke shifted, three vehicles were in the same southbound lane approaching the firetruck, which they did not see “until the last second,” the former county prosecutor said at the time.
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“This was a tragic accident and our deepest sympathies go out to Mr. Scheuerer’s family, the Readington Volunteer Fire Company; as well as Mr. Scheuerer’s colleagues in the New Jersey Forest Fire Service,” Kearns said, according to the Hunterdon County Democrat.
More recently, Komoroski’s 25-year-old daughter, Jamie Lee Komoroski, allegedly crashed her red Toyota Camry into Samantha Miller and Aric Hutchinson’s golf cart minutes after they left their wedding reception on Folly Beach, South Carolina, killing the bride and injuring the groom, court records show.
Miller was killed instantly in the April 28 collision and was still wearing her wedding dress when she died. Hutchinson suffered bleeding to his brain, broken bones and facial fractures. Two family members who were also in the golf cart survived.
Police say Komoroski had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit and had been driving 65 mph on a 25-mph road.
Miller’s mother told Fox News Digital it is her belief that the fatal crash “wasn’t an accident.”
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“This person chose to drink, get behind the wheel, and plow down my daughter,” Lisa Miller, an addiction specialist, said on March 12. “This is a conscious choice that a young lady made.”
Meanwhile, Jamie Komoroski’s attorneys urged the public not to rush to judgment.
“We cannot fathom what the families are going through and offer our deepest sympathies,” the attorneys previously told Fox News Digital. “We simply ask that there not be a rush to judgment. Our court system is founded upon principles of justice and mercy, and that is where all facts will come to light.”
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The Coastal Carolina University graduate, who was working at a Mexican restaurant on Folly Beach, is charged with three counts of felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury or death and one count of reckless homicide, according to court records.
Fox News’ Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report.