Family of woman who drowned in Horry County van sues consultant company

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A family of a woman who drowned in an Horry County Sheriff’s Office van during Hurricane Florence filed a lawsuit Thursday against the consulting company that creates policies for the sheriff’s office.

The family of Wendy Haywood Newton filed the lawsuit alleging Moseley Architects didn’t have policies good enough for transporting mental health patients, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims the company “failed to provide adequate policies and procedures endangering HCSO deputies, inmates, persons under commitment orders, detainees, and Wendy Newton.”

The family claims Newton was owed due care by Moseley Architects. The company “should have known that failing to create and finalize adequate policies and procedures and training for the HCSO would subject detainees, inmates, and persons under commitment orders patients to harm, such as the typ of harm suffered by Wendy Newton.”

The family alleges the lack of protocols from the company resulted in the death of Newton.

The family is seeking unspecified damages.

Newton and Nicolette Green both died after being trapped in an Horry County Sheriff’s Office van during flooding from Hurricane Florence in 2018.

Former deputies Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop were the ones in charge of the van that night and a disciplinary report says Flood was the driver and that he “made a conscious decision to drive a transport van around a barricade and into floodwaters (a substantial risk) that resulted in the death of patients after being provided a safe route by supervisors to avoid floodwaters.”

Both Flood and Bishop were terminated from the sheriff’s office in October 2018. They were indicted by a grand jury in 2019.

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