Correction officers involved in Horry County Sheriff’s Office van drownings terminated

Grand Strand

The two corrections officers involved in an incident where an Horry County Sheriff’s Office vehicle was overtaken by water in September have been terminated. 

The employments of Corrections Officers Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop were terminated on Wednesday, according to a press release from the HCSO. This comes “as the result of an ongoing internal administrative investigation into the incident where two female occupants died when a detention center transport van was overtaken by floodwaters.”

“Since the administrative internal investigation is currently continuing and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division inquiry into the incident is ongoing, no further details regarding the employees’ termination of employment can be released at this time,” the release further states. 

Brooke Holden, with the HCSO, previously said the HCSO transport vehicle was waved past barricades by National Guardsmen the night two women drowned and there was an order out that law enforcement vehicles were able to pass through the barricaded area. 

According to Holden, the HCSO transportation vehicle was recovered on September 24 “from a washout on Highway 76 in Marion County by the State Law Enforcement Division with the assistance of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.” 

A press release from the Horry County Sheriff’s Office stated the vehicle, staffed by two Horry County Sheriff’s Office deputies, was transporting two people from Conway to Darlington on September 18. The vehicle was traveling west on Highway 76 around 1/2 of a mile from the Little Pee Dee River when the vehicle was overtaken by flood waters.

Chief Deputy Tom Fox, with the HCSO, said two HCSO deputies were transporting two mental health patients to McLeod Behavioral Health in Darlington. One patient was from Waccamaw Mental Health and the other was from Loris Hospital.

According to Fox, while driving down Hwy 76 in Marion County about 1/2 of a mile from the Little Pee Dee River, the van was overtaken by water. The two deputies were rescued by high water rescue teams. 

Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson identified the two women who died as Windy Newton, 45, of Shallotte, NC and Nicolette Green, 43, of Myrtle Beach. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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