Women die in flooded van driven by SC deputies

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

The two women have not yet been identified.

The Horry County Sheriff's Office described the women as detainees, though a county coroner told the Associated Press that they were mental-health patients - 45-year-old Windy Wenton and 43-year-old Nicolette Green - being transported to a facility further inland.

The two deputies in the van were rescued and are being treated at a local hospital.

The incident is under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division.

"We want those who are responsible to be held accountable", it reads in part.

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.

According to information from the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the portion of Highway 76 in the Nichols area was closed Tuesday night and had been closed for some time. "While a few rivers on the Carolinas' coastal plain reached their peak levels and began declining Monday, other rivers are still rising on the Carolinas' coastal plain, and some may not peak until next week".

Floodwaters in North Carolina were still quite high as of September 19.

Thompson said he did not think Green and Newton were in restraints when the van hit the floodwaters.

The incident brings Florence's death toll to 37. "People need to know exactly how it happened".

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

A resident surveys a road inundated by water in Lumberton, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, following flooding from Hurricane Florence. A spokesman for the division told Greenville Online, "Tonight's incident is a tragedy".

The deputies who were transporting the two women to a different facility in SC were saved, local law enforcement officials told ABC News late Tuesday.

Yesterday afternoon, this news outlet was tracking a live webcam of the river sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) when we noticed the bridges spanning the Great Pee Dee were under siege from rising floodwaters ...

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.

"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. Rescue teams plucked the deputies from the top of the van.

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