Trial date pushed back for deputies fired after mental health patients drowned in Horry County van

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The trial date has been pushed back for two deputies who were fired after mental health patients drowned in an Horry County Sheriff’s Office van during flooding from Hurricane Florence, according to 12th Circuit Solicitor Ed Clements.

The trial for Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop is now scheduled to take place in February 2022. It was initially scheduled for the week of Nov. 8, according to Clements.

Wendy Haywood Newton and Nicolette Green, also known as Nicolette French died when the Horry County Sheriff’s Office van they were in became submerged in floodwaters that rose on Highway 76 in Marion County after Hurricane Florence. Green and Newton were being moved from two different facilities to McLeod Behavioral Health in Darlington at the time.

Flood and Bishop were the ones in charge of the van 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.

The county reached a settlement with the families of both women in early August.

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