Women chained in police van drown in Hurricane Florence floods

Floodwaters surround an area in South Carolina

Floodwaters surround an area in South Carolina

Deputies with the Horry County Sheriff's Office were transporting the two women, who have not been identified, to another facility on Highway 76 when they hit rapidly rising floodwaters, Sheriff Phillip Thompson said in a statement. The deputies transporting them managed to escape, but the women were unable to do so. "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". 'Just like you, we have questions we want answered'.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation has closed a portion of Interstate 95 in both directions in the Pee Dee.

"They're still under the water", Richardson told the AP on Wednesday morning.

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".

As the van traveled down USA 76 - about a half-mile from the Little Pee Dee River, which separates Mullins from the town of Nichols - high water swept away the vehicle. At almost 7 p.m. Wednesday, State Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry confirmed the bodies had been recovered.

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

Asked how the women were restrained in the back of the van, Fox told CNN they were "seat belted".

The Marion County Coroner has confirmed the deaths of both detainees, who have not been identified.

The SCDOT added the driver of the vehicle had to go around a barrier to get stuck where they were. "It's come up 2 feet (0.6 metres) since just last night". The Little Pee Dee River reached "major" flood stage in several spots, and forecasters believe it will continue to rise. It could have been water pressure or the way the van was resting against a guard rail, he said. According to some accounts, water swept the vehicle off the road.

According to the Marion County Coroner, the deceased individuals are Windy Newton, 45, of Shallotte, NC and Nicolette Green, 43, of Myrtle Beach.

We are now working with the SCDNR to recover the vehicle. Rescue teams responded in time to save the deputies.

We are working hand-in-hand with the State Law Enforcement Division to cooperate in this investigation.

As I mentioned, we have as many questions, this is the very reason SLED and internal agencies are established.

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