Flood Waters Kill Two Horry County Detainees

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According to Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson, the victims have been identified as Windy Newton, 45 of Shallotte, NC, and Nicolette Green, 43, of Myrtle Beach.

The Horry County Sheriff's Department said in a statement that when the waters overtook the van, they rose too quickly for the pair to be saved.

The detainees were women being transported from Waccamaw Mental Health and Loris Hospital to a behavioural health hospital in Darlington, South Carolina, according to the Associated Press.

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. Rescue teams plucked the deputies from the top of the van. The inmates have not been recovered. The two Horry County deputies who were responsible for transporting the women attempted to save them, according to the law enforcement narrative, but were unsuccessful in their efforts.

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In a release, Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson said his office would cooperate with the probe.

"A Horry County Sheriff's Office transportation vehicle was involved in a high-water incident tonight".

The incident has spawned investigations by the State Law Enforcement Division and Highway Patrol. "Just like you, we have questions we want answered". The sheriff said that the women were being transported as part of a court order, telling reporters that his agency acts as a courier in such situations, to follow a judge's wishes.

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"If that road is in an area where it is a flood risk, and waters were rising, why were they driving on that road anyway?" he said.

Holden says the deputies tried to get the mental health patients out but couldn't open the doors.

The van couldn't be removed Tuesday night because of rising waters and unsafe conditions, according to the release.

Gov. Roy Cooper told a news conference Tuesday is was hard for residents to leave home, and it's even harder for them to wait to go back. "This incident is being investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED)".

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