MARION COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Stephen Flood was transferred from a hospital to the South Carolina Department of Corrections to begin his sentence for the deaths of two mental health patients who drowned in an Horry County Sheriff’s Office van during flooding from Hurricane Florence, according to Marion County Sheriff Brian Wallace.

Flood is one of two people charged in connection with the deaths of Wendy Newton and Nicolette Green. The two were killed on Sept. 18, 2018, when the van became submerged in floodwater on Highway 76 in Marion County.

Flood was sentenced to 18 years in prison after he was found guilty by a jury last week.

When asked why Flood was in the hospital, Wallace cited privacy laws laws.

Newton’s family filed lawsuits that allege wrongful death by driving her in a locked cage on a dangerous road in standing water, failing to follow the correct route and for using a caged inmate van for a mental health patient. The lawsuit also referred to the vehicle as a “death trap.”

A case against the company that made the caged van was settled for $1 million. A lawsuit against Horry County has also been settled.

Deputy Joshua Bishop, who officials said was in the passenger seat, will be tried separately.