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

Henrietta Strickland
September 22, 2018

The Horry County Sheriff's Office van was transporting the two women from Horry County to other hospitals, Richardson said.

According to a corrected report from local media, a Horry County Sheriff's Office van carrying two people described as "mental health patients" were chained inside and died while the two deputies driving and escorting, survived.

The sheriff's deputies survived after rescue teams arrived on the scene and brought them to safety.

The women who died have been identified by the Marion County coroner as Nicolette Green, 43, of Myrtle Beach, and Wendy Newton, 45, of Shallotte, N.C.

"We are sorry", Thompson told ABC affiliate WPDE, moments after the bodies were recovered and with tears in his eyes.

"Tonight's incident is a tragedy", Thompson said in the statement. 'Just like you, we have questions we want answered'.

Recovery efforts were underway Wednesday, said Thom Berry, a spokesman for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Two mental health patients referred to by officials as "detainees" who drowned in the back of a sheriff's department transport van in SC have no arrest records in the state.

Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson tells The Associated Press two deputies were transporting the women between Nichols and Mullins night.

"They're still under the water", he said.

US President Donald Trump helps with flood relief supplies in North Carolina. By the time they got there, the van was underwater, and the deputies were on the roof. Thompson said he has also begun an internal investigation and put the deputies involved - Joshua Bishop and Stephen Flood - on administrative leave.

It happened in Horry County on Highway 917 Tuesday night as the van was in still water on Pee Dee Island Road near the bridge.

The deputies were transporting Green and Newton based on court orders from the staff at Waccamaw Center for Mental Health and a mental-health center in Loris, Thompson said.

North Carolina's governor is pleading with thousands of Hurricane Florence evacuees to be patient and not return home just yet.

After submerging North Carolina with almost one metre of rain, the storm dumped more than 16.5cm of rain in the Northeast, where it caused flash flooding. Richardson says the women were being transported from a hospital in Horry County to medical facilities in Florence and Darlington.

"I'm not sure if it was the way the van was positioned, against a guardrail, or if it was pressure from the water, but unfortunately they were not able to get the van doors open and get the ladies out", Thompson said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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