Two South Carolina sheriff’s deputies are reportedly expected to be charged with manslaughter after a police van in which they were traveling was overtaken by flooding from Hurricane Florence, killing two mental health patients.
Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop, both Horry County sheriff’s deputies, are accused of abandoning the two female mental health patients when the van was overcome by rising flood waters in September.
Both deputies will be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of Nicolette Green and Wendy Newton, who died in September, according to The Associated Press.
Flood will also face two charges of reckless homicide, as he was the driver of the van who reportedly was waved through a National Guard barricade because he was driving a marked police van, according to AP.
Solicitor Ed Clements told news outlets the two deputies would be formally charged in court Friday.
Flood and Bishop were rescued from the van and claimed they unsuccessfully attempted to rescue the two women, who were trapped in the back of the vehicle.
The van was reportedly locked and flipped on its side after being overtaken by the flood waters, making it hard to rescue the women through one of the doors.
Hurricane Florence caused severe flooding across the Southeast in September.
The women who were being transported to separate mental health facilities at the time had not been charged with a crime. They were unrestrained in the back of the locked van but needed someone to open the doors from the outside.
Rescue crews were later able to grab the two deputies off the roof of the then-submerged van, but were unable to access the women for another 24 hours.
Both Flood and Bishop were fired from the Horry County Sheriff’s office in October following an internal investigation into the incident.