Bodies recovered of mental health patients almost 24 hours after drowning

Mental health patients drown in Florence floodwaters after cops fail to free them

Mental health patients drown in Florence floodwaters after cops fail to free them

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is reportedly investigating the circumstances surrounding their deaths. They were women who voluntarily sought help.

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

Thompson said his office was responding to court orders to transport the women from a hospital and a mental-health center.

Officials say the van was traveling near the Little Pee Dee River, one of the bodies of water officials in SC are watching closely as water continues to poor into the state from upriver in North Carolina following the heavy rains of Florence. "Right now, everybody is saying what a great job we are doing with Hurricane Florence - and they are 100% correct", he tweeted. He said the van was traveling "on road 76 into Marion County when it was overcome with flood waters".

"I just want to say to the families that they are definitely in our thoughts and our prayers".

WBTW reported that according to "Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson, two have been confirmed drowned on the Little Pee Dee River".

Responders decided it wasn't safe to try to retrieve the women's bodies from the van Tuesday night because of darkness.

Horry County Sheriff's Office deputies apparently drove around road-closure barricades before their van was overtaken by floodwaters that killed two women trapped inside.

Battle says as far as he knows, everyone evacuated the town as the water first started to make its way in on Monday.

It was being driven by deputies from the Horry County Sheriff's Office.

The deputies in the van were rescued, but the patients who were chained in the back of the van died.

Sixteen North Carolina rivers were at major flood stage Tuesday, with an additional three forecast to peak by Thursday. He said it's typical for deputies to transport mental-health patients, and restraints aren't used if the patients aren't a threat.

KOAA also reports that as of Wednesday morning, the van and the bodies of the women had not been recovered, but the process was underway or expected to be soon.

According to reporter Summer Dashe of WPDE TV-15 (ABC - Myrtle Beach/ Florence, S.C.), "many of the roads in (in the area) are closed because of flooding".

On Wednesday, the sheriff said the vehicle had not yet been recovered yet due to risky conditions and rising waters.

The death toll from Hurricane Florence climbed to at least 37, and North Carolina's governor pleaded with thousands of evacuees not to return home just yet. Thompson says the van submerged and the deputies weren't able to save the women from the back.

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