The Horry County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday it has fired two corrections officers as part of its investigation into the drowning of two mental health detainees last month.
The sheriff’s office said officers Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop were fired Wednesday. Both had been transporting 45-year-old Windy Newton and 43-year-old Nicolette Green when their detention center van became stuck in floodwaters a few miles west of Nichols. While the officers survived, Green and Newton did not.
HCSO officials said they cannot give any more details on why Bishop and Flood were terminated, citing an ongoing investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division.
The coroner’s office said the women were being taken to a mental health facility in Darlington on September 19 as floods continued to shut down roads across the Pee Dee. Sheriff Phillip Thompson said at the time that the van went around a barricade along U.S. Highway 76 between Mullins and Nichols before it became stuck in rising floodwaters. Thompson had said his understanding was that a National Guardsman at the barricade had signaled the van could pass.
Thompson said the officers tried to remove the two patients, but could not get the door — which only opened from the outside — open. By the time rescue crews arrived, Thompson said the officers were on top of the van, which had sunk below the waters.
The officers had been transporting both women at the request of area hospitals and the move was not evacuation-related. Neither was an inmate in the custody of Horry County.