Family of woman who drowned in HCSO van to file lawsuit against hospital that released her

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – The family of a woman who drowned in floodwaters while locked in an Horry County Sheriff’s Office van intends to file a lawsuit against the hospital that released her.

Wendy Newton, along with Nicolette Green, drowned in 2018 when a transport van was swept off the road by floodwaters from Hurricane Florence. The van filled with water and took the lives of the confined women.

According to the filing made in Horry County court Thursday, Newton had arranged transportation for herself from Chadbourn, N.C., to McLeod-Loris Seacoast Hospital as she was having anxiety about Hurricane Florence. The filing claims that Newton suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

When Newton arrived at the hospital, staff order she be committed to a facility with a psychiatric bed. The filing claims that several hours later, hospital staff discharged Newton and arranged transportation with HCSO, despite floodwaters from Hurricane Florence.

The notice of intent to file suit was on behalf of Sarah Shoun and Allison Newton, representating Newton’s estate.

Families of both Newton and Green have filed federal lawsuits against the HCSO, saying they treated the women while they were being transported like criminals, not mental health patients.

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