HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - On September 18, mental health patients Wendy Newton and Nicolette Green drowned in the back of a Horry County Sheriff’s Office transport van in Marion County.
Authorities say the two deputies in the van were waved around a barrier by a National Guardsman, and they drove the van into floodwaters.
The deputies survived, but the patients didn’t.
Wednesday, the Horry County Sheriff’s Office announced the deputies, Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop were terminated as three investigations into the incident continue.
Green’s sister Donnela Green-Johnson was relieved to hear the news.
“We had a victory last night,” Green-Johnson said. “It was a small one, but it was very necessary.”
Green-Johnson hadn’t been happy with the lack of communication from the Horry County Sheriff’s Office before when it came to updates to the case. She said she learned of most updates from the media.
However, she was happy to discover Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson delivered the news to the family before it became public.
“He called my father, and he also called my attorney,” she said. “And I thank him for that.”
Green-Johnson says she recently received two of her sister’s belongings she was wearing the night she died. She received a ring Nicolette wore every day and the hair tie she was wearing.
There were still some strands of Nicolette’s hair attached to the hair tie.
Green-Johnson plans on taking some of the hair and putting inside three lockets for Nicolette’s three children.
“They can always have a little piece of their mom,” Green-Johnson said.
While Green-Johnson is happy with the latest developments in the case, she says it’s just the beginning.
She’s ultimately hoping Flood and Bishop end up behind bars.
“We are hoping the Marion County Solicitor will step up and do what is needed and press charges against both of them,” she said.
The investigations into the case are still ongoing.
WMBF News asked for a timetable for when the investigation could possibly be finished, but SLED officials only said the investigation was still active and ongoing.