Rivers are cresting at record levels in South Carolina
Ellison Barber reports on the hurricane clean up in South Carolina.
The daughter of one of the women who were drowned while chained in a medical transfer van that was engulfed by Florence water demands to know why the police officers drove through a flooded road.
Rose Hershberger, 19, told reporters she was stunned to hear that her mother, Nicolette Green, 43, and another woman in the care of the Horry County Sheriff’s Office has died during a medical transfer between the mental health hospitals Tuesday night.
“The delegates are supposed [to], [from] the people that are on the back of their car,” she told WMBF.
Two envoys were shuttling Green and Windy Newton, 45, from one hospital to the other when the van was overcome by water on Highway 76, less than a mile from the Little Pee Dee River. The two deputies tried to free the two tied up women, but were not able to open the doors as the water ran in the direction of them.
“I’m not sure if it was the way in which the bus was placed against a guardrail, or if the pressure of the water, but unfortunately they were not able to open the doors and get the ladies out,” Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson told reporters.
Rescue workers needed about 45 minutes to find the van, which was under water at that moment, and plucked the Horry County delegates of the roof, the sheriff said.
“I was in the war why would someone, or the police would be driving along a road that was in an area known for flooding,” Hershberger told NBC News. “When they saw that the water they have their own, you know, ‘turn around, don’t drown.’ They are everywhere.”
She told WMBF that her mother battled schizophrenia and was showing improvements. On Tuesday, she had her mother to Waccamaw Mental Health to meet with a new therapist, who determined she needed to be used for the mental health institution.
Green’s sister, Donnela Green-Johnson, said she knew about the transfer and felt her heart fall when she saw on the news about the trapped in the water.
“It’s terrible, because we had found her, and to have her taken by a senseless crime, it is devastating for us,” she told WMBF.
Thompson told reporters that the delegates seem to have driven around a barrier blocking the road. The investigation is ongoing.
“It is not confirmed for me that they did, but here is my question: are There barriers there are. It can be assumed that he did that,” Thompson said Wednesday.
The incident is being investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division.
“I feel very sad and betrayed, because my mother was a very, very trusting person,” Hershberger told NBC News. “And she is still her confidence in the delegates who were supposed to take care of her and made sure that they are safe, and the fact that they were able to get out, but my mother and the other woman was not makes me feel really hurt and betrayed by them.”
Justin Bamberg, a state legislator and the lawyer, the lawyer of the families of several people injured or killed by the police, said he was confused by the decision to allow the transport of a person in such uncertain weather conditions.
“If that road is in an area where it is a flood risk, and the water rose, why were they driving on that road anyway?”, he said. “People need to know exactly how it happened. It makes it seem as if someone took a very unnecessary risk in creating the problem in the first place.”
More than 36 people have died because Florence made arrive as a Category 1 hurricane late last week in North Carolina.
Thompson said he also began an internal investigation and the deputies involved — Joshua Bishop and Stephen Flood — on administrative leave.
Despite the pain, Hershberger said that she and her sister try to think of the beautiful memories that they have with their mother.
“My mother and I used to bake a lot together. She said: if you never did anything bad, but put all your bad feelings in these cupcakes and eat them,” she said WMBF.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Lucia I. Suarez Sang a Reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang