Women chained in police van drown in Hurricane Florence floods

Women chained in police van drown in Hurricane Florence floods

Women chained in police van drown in Hurricane Florence floods

Two Horry County deputies were driving a van carrying the two women in the back on Tuesday night when it was overtaken by floodwaters in Marion County.

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

They were about halfway through the trip by 6 p.m., on Highway 76 near the Little Pee Dee River, when the van encountered the running water.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff's office would not say which deputy was driving the van. The inmates have not been recovered.

Authorities confirm two detainees drowned when a van was swept away in rising flood waters in SC.

The two individuals being transported were confirmed dead by the Marion County Coroner.

The U.S. Military says more than 12,000 troops are supporting federal, state and local response efforts in areas affected by former Hurricane Florence.

Thompson said he wasn't sure what prevented the deputies from opening the van's rear door to save the women.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is reportedly investigating the circumstances surrounding their deaths.

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"Tonight's incident is a tragedy", Thompson said in a statement. The deputies transporting them managed to escape, but the women were unable to do so.

According to reporter Meg Kinnard of the Associated Press, as of Wednesday morning both bodies remained inside the submerged truck - with flood waters around the vehicle rising by more than two feet since the incident took place.

The sheriff's office told the Fayetteville Observer the teams weren't able to retrieve the body because the trailer was surrounded by water.

The death toll from Florence reached at least 37 in three states Tuesday, as Florence went in two directions: Water flowed downstream toward the Carolina coast, and storms hit the Northeast, where flash floods struck New Hampshire and NY state.

"At this time, the recovery effort is ongoing, and the transportation vehicle can not be removed due to rising waters and risky conditions", the sheriff's office said. 'Just like you, we have questions we want answered'. In March, Christopher Bennett died after eating drugs and suffering medical issues, a SLED investigation found.

A spokesman for the department added: 'In the past, it's been safer to leave them there'.

Several roads in the area were closed due to flooding.

According to statute, the documents authorizing the admission require "a law enforcement officer, preferably in civilian clothes and preferably with crisis intervention training, to take into custody and transport the person to the hospital designated by the certification".

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