Monday, 22 October, 2018

Flood Waters Kill Two Horry County Detainees

Mental patients die in flooded van More miles of I-95 in SC closed due to flooding | The Herald Sun
Delia Stanley | 20 September, 2018, 10:42

Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson confirmed the victims were female. "It's come up 2 feet since just last night".

The van was carrying the detainees to a different facility in Darlington, South Carolina when it was overtaken by flood waters on Tuesday.

'Tonight's incident is a tragedy, ' he said.

The Horry County Sheriff's Office transport van was still in the water as of about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, WPDE reported. When reached for comment by Reason, a spokesperson for the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division, which is investigating the incident, said he couldn't confirm that they were shackled. Harrowing police scanner audio provides details into the efforts to save the women, who could be heard talking as rescuers scrambled to save them. Officials said the van was near the Little Pee Dee River, one of the bodies of water state officials were watching following the heavy rains of Florence. They trusted the hospitals and the Sheriff Deputies with their lives and that trust was abused.

"I'm believing we're going to get answers", said Stacy Martin.

Flooding in South Carolina from Florence

"I know it was hard to leave home, and it is even harder to wait and wonder whether you even have a home to go back to", Gov. Roy Cooper said, according to The Associated Press. At almost 7 p.m. Wednesday, State Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry confirmed the bodies had been recovered.

Under South Carolina law, people who have been certified by a physician as posing an imminent risk of harm to themselves by virtue of mental illness and are the subject of an involuntary emergency admission must be transported by law enforcement to whichever designated hospital has agreed to admit them, according to officials with the state's Department of Mental Health.

Rescue teams were able to save the deputies from the van's roof, but they could not pull the vehicle from the water because it was too risky, according to the release.

"I know that it is a very sad situation so ive just been praying for the victims and the families of the victims", said Martin. Two individuals being transported by our HCSO van were involved in a high-water incident and died.

Investigators are in the early stages of conducting interviews and gathering evidence, SLED spokesman Thom Berry said. First responders decided not to continue rescue operations at the scene because of the conditions, Thompson said. The women will be taken to Medical University of SC in Charleston for autopsies.

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