Two Detainees Die After Police Van is Swept Away by Floodwaters in North Carolina

CONWAY, SC – SEPTEMBER 17: A church is surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Florence on September 17, 2018, in Conway, South Carolina. Many rivers in the Carolinas are approaching record flood stages and their levels will continue to rise through the week. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Two people being transported in an Horry County Sheriff’s Office vehicle died Tuesday when the vehicle was overcome by floodwaters, the sheriff’s office confirmed Tuesday night.

The vehicle, staffed by two Horry County Sheriff’s Office deputies, was transporting two detainees from Conway to Darlington and was traveling west on Highway 76 around one-half mile from the Little Pee Dee River when the vehicle was overtaken by flooding from Hurricane Florence, according to an emailed statement from the sheriff’s office.

The two deputies “attempted to extricate the persons being transported,” the agency said in its statement.

The Associated Press reported the detainees were female mental health patients detained for medical transport.

“Despite persistent and ongoing efforts, floodwater rose rapidly and the deputies were unable to open the doors to reach the individuals inside the van,” the sheriff’s office’s statement said.

High-water rescue teams arrived and were able to rescue the two deputies from the top of the van, according to the statement.

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SOURCE: Greenville News, Tim Smith