Shallotte woman killed when Horry Co. transport van caught in flood

More miles of I-95 in SC closed due to flooding | The Herald Sun

A police van transporting two shackled up mental health patients was overcome by floodwaters in SC on Tuesday night - leaving both detainees dead after cops failed to set them free, officials said.

South Carolina's Department of Transportation (SCDOT) ordered Interstate 95 in Florence County closed at around 6:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday evening - hours after this news outlet sounded the alarm about rising flood waters spilling over the banks of the Great Pee Dee River.

Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson says the women died Tuesday night when two of his deputies taking them to a mental health facility under court order drove into high water.

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.

"At this time, the recovery effort is ongoing, and the transportation vehicle can not be removed due to rising waters and risky conditions", the sheriff's office said. They have been placed on administrative leave, the HCSO said in a statement.

When it comes to the deputies who assist in transport, Thompson said that they have gone through extensive intense training.

She said her mother was a trusting person who was betrayed by the deputies.

According to CNN affiliate WPDE, the women were being transported from a hospital in Loris and from the Waccamaw Center for Mental Health in Conway to McLeod Health Darlington, Fox said.

Some roads in Marion and Horry County are impacted by floods after Hurricane Florence passed through the area.

"We are sorry", Thompson said". "It's come up two feet since just last night".

"They're still under the water", Richardson told The Associated Press early Wednesday. "Just like you, we have questions we want answered". High-water rescue teams plucked the deputies from the top of the van. The sheriff's office characterized them as detainees.

Justin Bamberg, a state lawmaker and lawyer who has represented the families of several people injured or killed by law enforcement officers, said Wednesday he's perplexed by the decision to transport anyone in such uncertain weather conditions.

"I know for many people this feels like a nightmare that just won't end", he said.

According to the Marion County Coroner, the deceased individuals are Windy Newton, 45, of Shallotte, NC and Nicolette Green, 43, of Myrtle Beach.

In all, Hurricane Florence has contributed to at least 37 deaths, including at least 27 in North Carolina, officials say.

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