Responders congregate on September 19, 2018, near where two people drowned Tuesday evening when they were trapped in a Horry County Sheriff transport van while crossing an overtopped bridge over the Little Pee Dee River, in Marion County, S.C.
Two female mental health patients detained for medical transport drowned Tuesday night when a sheriff's department van was swept away in rising SC floodwaters, according to authorities. They were going down Highway 76 when the floodwaters began to rise near the Little Pee Dee River, which is a branch of the Lumber River.
The incident brings Florence's death toll to 37.
The Lumber River as of September 19 was still in "major" flood stage in several places, according to the National Weather Service.
Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson stated in the release, "Tonight's incident is a tragedy".
"We want those who are responsible to be held accountable", it reads in part.
4 matchs de suspension pour Costa — Juventus
Je présente des excuses aussi à mes coéquipiers qui sont toujours à mes côtés dans les bons et les mauvais moments. Cela signifie qu'il ratera forcément le choc contre Naples du 29 septembre.
"I know it was hard to leave home, and it is even harder to wait and wonder whether you even have a home to go back to", Govenor Roy Cooper said.
The incident happened in the area of the Little Pee Dee River, which branches off from the Lumber River, in Mullins, South Carolina. "Right now, everybody is saying what a great job we are doing with Hurricane Florence - and they are 100% correct", he tweeted.
The women were being transported following involuntary commitments by a physician, according to the sheriff's office.
In a statement, the sheriff's office said the two deputies escaped from the cab and tried to get the women out of the back.
"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", Thompson said. When a high-water rescue team arrived on the scene, the 2 sheriffs were on top of the van and the women still inside, dead. At this time, the recovery effort is ongoing, and the transportation vehicle can not be removed due to rising waters and risky conditions.
Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson confirmed the victims were female. In March, Christopher Bennett died after eating drugs and suffering medical issues, a SLED investigation found.