Two mental health patients killed after transport van overcome with flood water
MARION COUNTY, SC (WOLO/ABC News) – Two mental health patients died in flood waters Tuesday (9/18) night in Marion County.
According to the Marion County Coroner, Jerry Richardson, the transport van the patients were in was overcome with flood water.
ABC News reports that both patients were female and were chained in the back of a county sheriff’s van.
Richardson told ABC Columbia News the pair was being transported by the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, on their way to Darlington and Florence Counties.
It happened on Highway 76 near Pee Dee Island Road.
A Marion county administrator has confirmed two people died from an automobile accident that turned into a water rescue. Two people did survive the wreck. The coroner is on scene. More details tonight at 11 on @abc_columbia #MullinSC #Florence pic.twitter.com/L3ZyXBxzxk
— Alexis Frazier (@AlexisFrazierTV) September 19, 2018
Richardson confirmed that two deputies were able to get out of the transport van, though could not confirm how the victims died.
According to a statement from County Sheriff Phillip Thompson given to ABC News, the pair of Horry County Sheriff’s deputies tried to extricate the patients, but, due to rapidly rising floodwaters, were unable to open the van’s doors to reach the shackled women. Rescue teams responded in time to save the deputies.
“Tonight’s incident is a tragedy,” Thompson said in the statement. “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.”
The van will likely remain in the flood waters until Wednesday morning, according to Richardson.
South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the incident.