Wendy Newton and Nicolette Green lives were taken by Hurricane Florence this week. The two mentally ill mothers were being transported by law enforcement to a psychiatric facility in South Carolina through the storm according to the New York Times. The females were riding in the back of a sheriff’s van driven by 2 deputies when water overtook the cars and truck. The two deputies managed to escape the water logged vehicle and were saved. The two clients inside drowned. Now, their households wish to know what occurred.
Allison Newton, the child of Wendy Newton, asked the public ” Why the hell would they leave a safe, dry location to go to God understands exactly what?”. “Something feels wrong about this.”
” The Sheriffs got out and fought to get the two women out,” Phillip E. Thompson of Horry County said at an interview. The officer said that he wasn’t sure the length of time the deputies struggled to save the females, however, it might have been 45 minutes. The position of the van or the pressure of the water may have made it tough. Both deputies are now on administrative leave, and the department says it’s investigating.
The women were not being evacuated from floodwaters. They were both being taken from healthcare facilities, where they had actually come willingly, to mental health facilities for help. At the press conference, deputy Thompson said that his department had actually been responding to a court order to transport the ladies. On Wednesday, family members said they had heard absolutely nothing about any orders.
It is routine, and needed under state law, for police to transport individuals who are involuntarily committed and who are determined by a doctor “as posing an impending threat of damage to him or herself by virtue of mental disorder,” according to a declaration from the state Department of Mental Health. It was unclear to the households whether the ladies had revealed an intent to harm themselves or anybody else.
A state lawmaker and legal representative Justin Bamberg, has represented the households of a number of people injured or killed by law enforcement officers, said he’s perplexed by the choice to transfer anyone in such unpredictable weather.
” If that roadway is in a location where it is a flood threat, and waters were increasing, why were they driving on that roadway anyway?” he stated. “People need to know precisely how it occurred. It makes it appear like somebody took a really unneeded threat in producing the problem in the first place.”
Some early reports said that the females remained in handcuffs when they drowned. Deputy Thompson stated this was not likely, but he couldn’t confirm.
” Why would they chain her and another woman to the back of a truck?” Allison Newton asked the Times. “Why didn’t they inform us she was being transported? Why were they going through floodwaters understanding how hazardous it’s been?”
“That’s my mother,” she added.
The incident occurred in the location of the Little Pee Dee River, which branches off from the Lumber River, in Mullins, South Carolina. The Lumber River overturned its banks following the record rains discarded by Hurricane Florence.
The two clients were being transferred from Loris Healthcare facility Waccamaw Center for Mental Health to McLeod Health, which runs numerous facilities in the area, according to WPDE.
By: Mckenzie Santa Maria