Bodies recovered of mental health patients almost 24 hours after drowning

Bodies recovered of mental health patients almost 24 hours after drowning

Bodies recovered of mental health patients almost 24 hours after drowning

Two women who were being transported to a mental health facility drowned when a sheriff's department van was swept away in rising SC floodwaters, according to authorities.

The bodies of the two women were recovered on Wednesday, almost 24 hours after the event began, from the submerged van in the Little Pee Dee River.

Rescue teams were able to get to the deputies, authorities said.

Sheriff Phillip Thompson told WPDE that, contrary to some early reports, the women were not shackled.

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

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. "They were trying to negotiate through fast-running water, and it just didn't work out", Richardson told AP about the incident.

The van was attempting to cross a flooded area of Highway 76 in Marion County when it got swept away, according to cops. They trusted the hospitals and the Sheriff Deputies with their lives and that trust was abused.

Thompson said his office was responding to court orders to transport the women from a hospital and a mental-health center.

Richardson said the van came across rising water and was carried off the road. "It makes it seem like someone took a very unnecessary risk".

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

Holden said that deputies tried to get the victims out but couldn't.

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.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections tweeted pictures on Monday of prisoners preparing to defend their facilities from flooding.

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

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.

Thompson said deputies rode around a barrier blocking the road where the incident happened on the way to the facility.

The death toll from Hurricane Florence climbed to at least 37, and North Carolina's governor pleaded with thousands of evacuees not to return home just yet.

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