Two South Carolina deputies who drove a transport van into Hurricane Florence floodwaters in an incident that led to the drowning death of two women inside were fired Wednesday, a sheriff's office announced. The women were being taken to a mental health facility.
The Horry County Sheriff's Office said in a statement it could not provide additional information about the firing of corrections officers Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop because an investigation is ongoing.
The pair were driving 45-year-old Wendy Newton and 43-year-old Nicolette Green to a facility as part of a court order when floodwaters rose from heavy rains unleashed by Florence, which lashed the Southeast coast in September. Horry County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Brooke Holden told The Associated Pressthat guardsmen allowed the deputies to drive around a barrier because they were in a law enforcement vehicle.
Green and Newton drowned in the back of the van on September 18. Flood and Bishop tried unsuccessfully to rescue the women.
Rescue crews needed about 45 minutes to find the van, which was underwater at that point. They plucked the Horry County deputies from the roof, Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson has said. The deputies were later placed on leave.