Women Die In Flooded Van Driven By South Carolina Deputies

The two deputies

The two deputies"attempted to extricate the persons being transported but failed according to the Horry County Sheriff's Office

Two women drowned in North Carolina while they were being transported from a mental health facility in a van also occupied by two sheriff's deputies.

The Associated Press reported the detainees were two women.

Thompson said he did not think the women were in restraints in the back of the van, noting that restraints are used for combative patients "and I understand they were not".

Thom Berry, a spokesman for the State Law Enforcement Division, said SLED agents have been sent to the scene to investigate.

"We want those who are responsible to be held accountable", it reads in part.

Justin Bamberg, a state lawmaker and lawyer who has represented the families of several people injured or killed by law enforcement officers, said Wednesday he's perplexed by the decision to transport anyone in such uncertain weather conditions.

According to the sheriff's office, the two detainees were being transferred from Waccamaw Mental Health in Myrtle Beach and McLeod Loris Hospital in Loris to McLeod Behavioral Health in Darlington, S.C.

The Lumber River as of September 19 was still in "major" flood stage in several places, according to the National Weather Service.

Floodwaters in North Carolina were still quite high as of September 19.

North Carolina's governor is pleading with thousands of Hurricane Florence evacuees to be patient and not return home just yet.

Cooper warned locals that the flooding isn't over yet.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, arrived in storm-ravaged North Carolina on Wednesday and helped volunteers at a church in the hard-hit coastal town of New Bern.

Interested in Hurricane Florence?

The women were being transported following involuntary commitments by a physician, according to the sheriff's office.

Thompson said there was one door to the containment area of the van where women were trapped.

Officials said that the van was near the Little Pee Dee River, one of the bodies of water that state officials are watching following the heavy rains of Florence. Rescue teams responded in time to save the deputies.

Thompson said it took rescue crews about 45 minutes to find the van and get to it via boat.

"At this time, the recovery effort is ongoing, and the transportation vehicle can not be removed due to rising waters and risky conditions", the sheriff's office said.

It happened on Highway 76 south of Nichols in Marion County.