Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Two female mental health patients drown while chained up in police van

Floodwaters surround an area in South Carolina Modal Trigger Floodwaters surround an area in South Carolina. AP
Samantha Long | 22 September, 2018, 21:42

Authorities confirm two detainees drowned when a van was swept away in rising flood waters in SC. They were women who voluntarily sought help.

Horry County Sheriff's Office deputies apparently drove around road-closure barricades before their van was overtaken by floodwaters that killed two women trapped inside. High-water rescue teams plucked the deputies from the top of the van.

The bodies of Windy Newton, 45, of Shallotte, N.C. and Nicolette Green, 43, of Myrtle Beach, were taken to Charleston, South Carolina, for an autopsy, the Horry County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Wednesday, according to WPDE.

When asked by Heavy to clarify if in fact the two people now described as "detainees" were chained, if they were "mental patients" and to answer why deputies were traveling on a highway that was already predicted to be under water, HCSO PIO Brooke Holden said, "Due to an ongoing investigation by SLED, we can't release any further information".

"It can be assumed he did" drive around a barricade, Sheriff Phillip Thompson said, adding that investigators want to know why the deputies made a decision to disregard the safety measure.

"Tonight's incident is a tragedy", Thompson said.

The coroner in neighboring Marion County confirmed the two deceased patients were female, and the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the incident, according to the statement.

Thompson said he did not think the women were in restraints in the back of the van, noting that restraints are used for combative patients "and I understand they were not".

Marion county coroner Jerry Richardson has confirmed that two people drowned on the Little Pee Dee river.

Sir Alex Ferguson returns to Old Trafford following recovery from brain surgery
Many had feared for the health of the 13-time Premier League winning manager, and will no doubt be encouraged by this development. Ferguson was rushed to hospital for emergency brain surgery and ended up spending four days in intensive care. "I'm really good.

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

Richardson said the incident happened on Pee Dee Island Road off U.S. Highway 76 outside of Nichols.

Bishop and Flood have been placed on administrative leave while three separate investigations are conducted into the deaths.

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.

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

Prisoners in SC were pictured filling sandbags after officials refused to evacuate them to safety from storm Florence.

Holden says the deputies tried to get the detainees out but couldn't open the doors.

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

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