Former LH woman drowns in SC flood waters

Glen Mclaughlin
September 23, 2018

The van was traveling on an area near Little Pee Dee River, when waters surged and pushed the van off the road.

The bodies of the two women were recovered on Wednesday, almost 24 hours after the event began, from the submerged van in the Little Pee Dee River.

Horry County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Brooke Holden says a sheriff's office van was carrying two detainees and two deputies from Conway to Darlington on Tuesday night when it was overtaken by flood waters.

The U.S. Military says more than 12,000 troops are supporting federal, state and local response efforts in areas affected by former Hurricane Florence.

"I'm not sure if it was the way the van was positioned, against a guardrail, or if it was pressure from the water, but unfortunately they were not able to get the van doors open and get the ladies out", Thompson said.

The deputies waited on top of the van until rescuers arrived. "Due to unsafe conditions and rising waters, additional search and rescue teams are arriving to assist in the recovery of the vehicle".

Rivers are still rising in SC and will continue throughout the week, the state's Emergency Response Team said Wednesday morning.

County Sheriff Phillip Thompson said in a statement obtained by ABC News that South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the tragic incident.

US President Donald Trump visited storm-ravaged North Carolina on Wednesday, while the state's governor, Roy Cooper, pleaded with thousands of evacuees not to return home just yet, warning the flooding is far from over and will get worse in some places.

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Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson confirmed to AP earlier Tuesday that two women died in the incident.

The two individuals being transported were confirmed dead by the Marion County coroner.

"We are sorry", Thompson told ABC affiliate WPDE, moments after the bodies were recovered and with tears in his eyes.

'They were trying to negotiate through fast-running water, and it just didn't work out, ' he said.

The Lumber River overflows onto a stretch Interstate 95 in Lumberton, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, following flooding from Hurricane Florence. As of 8:45 p.m. last night, flood conditions prevented officials from removing the van.

Thompson told reporters that deputies appear to have driven around a barrier blocking the road but the investigation is ongoing.

The two deputies attempted to extricate the persons being transported.

We are working hand-in-hand with the State Law Enforcement Division to cooperate in this investigation.

The officers involved in the incident are placed on administrative leave.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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