The pair were being transported to a mental health facility and drowned when the vehicle was swept away in rising SC floodwaters, according to authorities. In an email, Fox confirmed to CNN that the women were mental health patients headed to Darlington, but he declined to divulge from what facilities they were being transported.
Thompson said there was one door to the containment area of the van where women were trapped. "It's come up 2 feet since last night".
"They were trying to negotiate through fast-running water, and it just didn't work out", said the coroner, Jerry Richardson. The sheriff's office characterized them as detainees. "Sometimes you do the right thing and it ends up wrong".
It happened in Horry County on Highway 917 Tuesday night as the van was in still water on Pee Dee Island Road near the bridge.
Green's sister paid tribute in a heartbreaking Facebook post.
The family of 43-year-old Green spoke out Thursday demanding answers.
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The family says Green had three children, but had lost one child to cancer in 2015. Green sister wrote, "Our only comfort is that we know she is in Heaven with her son and that she is now at peace". Why they chose to try to drive through is beyond me. She didn't deserve to have her life ended this way.
Justin Bamberg, a state lawmaker and lawyer who has represented the families of several people injured or killed by law enforcement officers, said he's perplexed by the decision to transport anyone in such uncertain weather conditions.
"Tonight's incident is a tragedy", Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson said in Tuesday's statement. The vehicle got into difficulty a half a mile from the Little Pee Dee River.
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". The deputies were able to escape, but the two women were not.
Rescue teams were able to save the deputies from the van's roof, but they could not pull the vehicle from the water because it was too risky, according to the release.
The investigation has been handed over to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the news release said. "We get an order to transport to a facility, that's what we do", Thompson said, reported the Myrtle Beach Sun News.