SC deputies on leave after women drown in their van

Phillip Cunningham
September 21, 2018

Authorities confirm two detainees drowned when a van was swept away in rising flood waters in SC. The two victims were previously identified as being prisoners but were actually mental health patients.

The deputies were transporting the women from Conway, near the coast, to Darlington, about 65 miles northwest, on Tuesday night.

Responders congregate on September 19, 2018, near where two people drowned Tuesday evening when they were trapped in a Horry County Sheriff transport van while crossing an overtopped bridge over the Little Pee Dee River, in Marion County, S.C.

Some roads in Marion and Horry County are impacted by floods after Hurricane Florence passed through the area. "It's come up 2 feet (0.6 metres) since just last night". "They were trying to negotiate through fast-running water, and it just didn't work out", Richardson told AP about the incident.

The patients were being taken from Loris Hospital and Waccamaw Mental Health Hospital to McLeod, according to WPDE. "Sometimes you do the right thing and it ends up wrong".

Richardson identified the two patients as Wendy Wenton, of Shallotte; and Nicolette Green, of Myrtle Beach. Greenville Online reports that neither woman had a criminal record.

Imag Nicolette Green
Nicolette Green

The family of 43-year-old Green spoke out Thursday demanding answers.

The family says Green had three children, but had lost one child to cancer in 2015. Green sister wrote, "Our only comfort is that we know she is in Heaven with her son and that she is now at peace".

"It hasn't been confirmed to me that they did, but here's my question: There's barriers there". But it cost us my sister. She was seeking help. "The van is submerged, and they can not get their inmates out", an unidentified person says. The vehicle got into difficulty a half a mile from the Little Pee Dee River.

The deputies in the van were rescued and taken to the hospital, according to our source, but the patients were chained in the back of the van.

"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. High-water rescue teams plucked the deputies from the top of the van.

The incident has spawned investigations by the State Law Enforcement Division and Highway Patrol. "It could be assumed that he did", Thompson said Wednesday. At almost 7 p.m. Wednesday, State Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry confirmed the bodies had been recovered. Due to risky conditions and rising waters, additional search and rescue teams are arriving to assist in the recovery of the vehicle.

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