HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The Horry County Sheriff’s corrections officers who were in a transport van when it was swept away in flood waters, resulting in two female mental health patients drowning, have been terminated.
In a statement from the HCSO, it is said:
“Corrections Officers Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop employment with the Horry County Sheriff Office was terminated today, 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.”
Nicolette Green, 43, of Myrtle Beach was one of the woman killed in the transport van. Her sister, Donnela Green-Johnson, told WMBF News that the officers being terminated was the first step to justice for her sister.
“First step towards JUSTICE! We are very happy,” Green-Johnson said. “It is the first formal acknowledgement of any wrong-doing by anyone in the County. Even if it’s just the admittance of violations in policy which require the termination...it’s a beginning. It’s a victory for #Justice4NikkiandWendy.”
Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson said during a news conference on Sept. 19, the day after the women drowned, that the two deputies driving the van that two mental health patients drowned in were waved around a barricade by a National Guardsman.
According to Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson, the other victim was Windy Newton, 45 of Shallotte, NC. Richardson says the women were being transported from a hospital in Horry County to medical facilities in Florence and Darlington.
The bodies of the two women were recovered nearly 24 hours after the event began, from the submerged van in the Little Pee Dee River.