Drown After Horry Co. Sheriff's Van Swept Away By Flood Waters

APThe Lumber River overflows onto a stretch Interstate 95 in Lumberton N.C. Tuesday Sept. 18 2018 following flooding from Hurricane Florence

APThe Lumber River overflows onto a stretch Interstate 95 in Lumberton N.C. Tuesday Sept. 18 2018 following flooding from Hurricane Florence

Two mental health patients have been killed after the HCSO transport van they were in was overcome with flood waters, according to an Horry County official in SC.

The women were identified as a 46-year-old from Shallotte, North Carolina, and a 44-year-old from Myrtle Beach. Richardson says the women were being transported from a hospital in Horry County to medical facilities in Florence and Darlington.

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

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is reportedly investigating the circumstances surrounding their deaths. HCSO is conducting an internal investigation.

They had to suspend recovery efforts due to rising water.

"They were trying to negotiate through fast-running water, and it just didn't work out", said the coroner, Jerry Richardson. "We will be there for whatever questions they may have, the public and anyone else". They were women who voluntarily sought help.

"We have very intense training for folks that go into transport", Thompson said.

Holden said that deputies tried to get the victims out but couldn't. She was driving through the area and said she wanted to check on everything and make sure everyone was OK.

The drowning deaths are the fifth deaths under the Horry County Sheriff's Office's purview this year.

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"Tonight's incident is a tragedy", Thompson said.

The two women have not yet been identified.

The incident happened in the area of the Little Pee Dee River, which branches off from the Lumber River, in Mullins, South Carolina.

Rescue crews needed about 45 minutes to find the van, which was under water at that point, and plucked the Horry County deputies from the roof, the sheriff said. At this time, the recovery effort is ongoing, and the transportation vehicle can not be removed due to rising waters and unsafe conditions.

The Horry County Sheriff's Office transport van was still in the water as of about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, WPDE reported.

A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for Flood told a reporter he didn't want to talk to anyone. "We are fully cooperating with the State Law Enforcement Division to support their investigation of this event".

A spokesman for the department added: 'In the past, it's been safer to leave them there'. "It's come up 2 feet since last night". According to some accounts, water swept the vehicle off the road.

The incident took place in Marion County. Rescue teams responded in time to save the deputies.

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