Published: Fri, September 21, 2018
Health Care | By Terrence Lopez

Drowning victims in Horry sheriff van caught in flood waters are identified

Drowning victims in Horry sheriff van caught in flood waters are identified

Two female mental patients chained in the back of a county sheriff's van drowned when the vehicle in which they were traveling was overcome by floodwaters, police said.

He added the women, who he says were not detainees but mental health patients, were not strapped/shackled in the van. The victims were being transferred to McLeod Behavioral Health in Darlington, South Carolina, reports WPDE.

Heading from Conway west on USA 76, the transport van with two deputies was about a half mile from the Little Pee Dee River when it encountered the high water, the news release said. "It's come up 2 feet since just last night".

"They're still under the water", Richardson told The Associated Press early Wednesday.

Their names also yielded no records in the Horry County jail and court index systems. "Sometimes you do the right thing and it ends up wrong". "These women were not inmates or criminals".

Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson said the van was still in the water as of 8:45 p.m. on Pee Dee Island Road just off of Highway 76.

Green's sister paid tribute in a heartbreaking Facebook post. Green sister wrote, "Our only comfort is that we know she is in Heaven with her son and that she is now at peace".

Just hours before closing the road, officials with the S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) had announced the reopening of the vital east coast thoroughfare - which experienced severe flooding in low-lying areas between mile markers 181 and 190 in Dillon County, S.C. earlier this week.

"It hasn't been confirmed to me that they did, but here's my question: There's barriers there". She didn't deserve to have her life ended this way. "She trusted people and they killed her".

In a statement emailed to reporters, Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson identified the women as Windy Newton, 45, and Nicolette Green, 43.

Sixteen North Carolina rivers were at major flood stage Tuesday, with an additional three forecasted to peak by Thursday.

The women's bodies were recovered Wednesday because officials said conditions weren't safe at the time of the deputies' rescue.

Two deputies tried to help the victims, but the floodwater rapidly rose and the deputies couldn't open the doors, according to the sheriff's office. According to the report, the two deputies climbed to the top of the van and were rescued by a high water team.

The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the incident.

'Tonight's incident is a tragedy, ' he said. At almost 7 p.m. Wednesday, State Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry confirmed the bodies had been recovered. Two individuals being transported by our HCSO van were involved in a high-water incident and died.

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