Marion County coroner identifies two Horry County Sheriff’s Office detainees swept away in Nichols floodwaters

September 20, 2018

NICHOLS, S.C. – Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson identified two female detainees who died after floodwaters swept away a Horry County Sheriff’s Office transport van Tuesday night in Nichols.

Richardson identified the pair as Windy Newton, 45, of Shallotte, North Carolina, and Nicolette Green, 43, of Myrtle Beach.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning.

Richardson said he was called to the scene shortly after 5 p.m., and the transport van was still in the water.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating.

The Horry County Sheriff’s Office released a statement.

“A Horry County Sheriff’s Office transportation vehicle was involved in a high-water incident tonight,” the release said. “The vehicle, staffed by two Horry County Sheriff’s Office deputies, was transporting two detainees from Conway to Darlington. The vehicle was traveling west on Highway 76 around ½ mile from the Little Pee Dee River when the vehicle was overtaken by flood waters. The two 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 transportation vehicle cannot be removed due to rising waters and dangerous conditions.”

Sheriff Phillip Thompson called it a tragedy in another statement released.

“Two individuals being transported by our HCSO van were involved in a high-water incident and died,” he said. “Our deputies were driving the vehicle when it was swept away by floodwaters. We are currently working with the SCDNR to recover the vehicle. Due to dangerous conditions and rising waters, additional search and rescue teams are arriving to assist in the recovery of the vehicle. We are working hand-in-hand with the State Law Enforcement Division to cooperate in this investigation. Two additional investigations including a traffic investigation and an internal investigation are taking place. As I mentioned, we have as many questions; this is the very reason SLED and internal agencies are established. The officers involved in the incident are placed on administrative leave.”

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