Two die in flooded sheriff’s transport van

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Two “detainees” in the custody of the Horry County Sheriff’s Office died Tuesday night when a transport vehicle carrying them to Darlington was “overtaken by flood waters” that left them trapped inside the locked van, a sheriff’s office news release said.

     Heading from Conway west on U.S. 76, the transport van with two deputies was about a half mile from the Little Pee Dee River when it encountered the high water, the news release said.

     Both deputies “attempted to extricate the persons being transported,” the news release said. “Despite persistent and ongoing efforts, floodwater rose rapidly and the deputies were unable to open the doors to reach the individuals inside the van.

     “High water rescue teams arrived and were able to rescue the two deputies from the top of the van.”

     The Marion County Coroner has confirmed the deaths of both detainees, who have not been identified. Agents of the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) are investigating.

     “Tonight’s incident is a tragedy,” Sheriff Phillip Thompson said. “Just like you, we have questions we want answered. We are fully cooperating with the State Law Enforcement Division to support their investigation of this event.”