Two die in flooded sheriff's transport van

Simon Moss
September 20, 2018

According to WBTW, two Horry County Sheriff's deputies were transporting two mental health patients to McLeod Behavioral Health in Darlington.

Officials said that the van was near the Little Pee Dee River, one of the bodies of water that state officials are watching following the heavy rains of Florence. Or northbound motorists from Georgia could get off I-95 and take either I-26 or I-20 to Columbia and then catch I-77 to Charlotte, the agency said. "They were unable to do so".

Police officials told The Sun News that the deputies tried to help the victims, but couldn't open the van doors because the water was rising too fast.

The two deputies were rescued by high water rescue teams. That effort resumed Wednesday morning, and Thompson said a specialized crew was being flown in from Charleston to assist.

The van was traveling west on Highway 76 into neighboring Marion County when floodwaters overcame the vehicle.

"They're still under the water", Richardson told The Associated Press early Wednesday. "It's come up 2 feet since last night". Agents of the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) are investigating.

In a Wednesday night press conference, Thompson was asked whether or not the deputies had driven around barriers on the flooded road.

The women had been involuntarily committed by a physician, authorities said.

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

"We are sorry", Thompson said".

Their names also yielded no records in the Horry County jail and court index systems.

Facebook/Jewels Green Nicolette Green pictured on her sister's Facebook page. She posted multiple times about her struggles.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Spokesman Thom Berry said recovery efforts are set for today - the van and the victims remain in the flood waters at the scene.

"If that road is in an area where it is a flood risk, why were they driving on that road anyway?" asked State Rep. Justin Bamberg, a trial attorney in SC who has represented families in cases of police killings, according to the AP.

"I know for many people this feels like a nightmare that just won't end", he said. "We are just very sorry that this event has taken place".

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

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