Women Drown While Chained in Flooded Police Van During Hurricane Florence

Women Drown While Chained in Flooded Police Van During Hurricane Florence

Thompson said there was one door to the containment area of the van where women were trapped. Rescue teams plucked the deputies from the top of the van. "Just like you, we have questions we want answered".

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry said the bodies of 45-year-old Windy Newton and 43-year-old Nicolette Green were recovered from the van Wednesday evening.

"It's still hard, we've got rising, rapid water, debris-infested water, dark water, and the vehicle is all the way under the water now", Richardson said Wednesday afternoon.

It happened on Highway 76 south of Nichols in Marion County. They trusted the hospitals and the Sheriff Deputies with their lives and that trust was abused.

Horry County Deputy Tom Fox told WPDE-TV that the victims were mental health patients being transported from one facility to another. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) Rising flood waters in the Pee Dee area in Marion County, S.C., seen on September 17, 2018.

Richardson said the van came across rising water and was carried off the road. "It could be assumed that he did", Thompson said Wednesday. "It makes it seem like someone took a very unnecessary risk in creating the problem in the first place".


Officials say the van was traveling near the Little Pee Dee River, one of the bodies of water officials in SC are watching closely as water continues to poor into the state from upriver in North Carolina following the heavy rains of Florence.

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

"The two deputies attempted to extricate the persons being transported", the news release said. "We are fully cooperating with the State Law Enforcement Division to support their investigation of this event".

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.

Newton had posted on her Facebook page, last updated in 2014, that she had been previously hospitalized for mental illness. He said the two deputies involved had been placed on administrative leave and he had launched an internal investigation.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday visited North Carolina, which is bearing the brunt of Florence's deadly deluge and where rivers are still rising while thousands of homes and roadways remain submerged.

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