AP NEWS

Two patients die after Horry County deputies drive van through floodwaters

September 19, 2018

CONWAY, S.C. — Two mental health patients who were being transported Tuesday night from Horry County to McLeod Behavioral Health in Darlington died when the Horry County Sheriff’s Office van was overtaken by floodwaters near the Little Pee Dee River.

The vehicle, staffed by two Horry County Sheriff’s Office deputies, was traveling west on U.S. 76 approximately half a mile from the Little Pee Dee River, according to a news release from the Horry County Sheriff’s Office.

The deputies attempted to extricate the persons being transported. Despite persistent and ongoing efforts, floodwater rose rapidly and the deputies were unable to open the doors to reach the individuals inside the van.

High water rescue teams arrived and were able to rescue the two deputies from the top of the van.

At this time, the recovery effort is ongoing, and the van cannot be removed because of rising waters and dangerous conditions.

The two individuals being transported were confirmed dead by the Marion County coroner. This incident is being investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division.

“Tonight’s incident is a tragedy,” Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson said. “Just like you, we have questions we want answered. We are fully cooperating with the State Law Enforcement Division to support their investigation of this event.”

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