Two sheriff deputies left two women to drown behind a police transport van in South Carolina on Tuesday when the van was overcome by flood waters from Hurricane Florence, a neighborhood ABC affiliate, WPDE reported.

The 2 women had been described in information reviews as “mental health patients” at Loris Hospital and Waccamaw Middle for Psychological Well being in Horry County, and had been on medical transport. The women, who’ve been recognized as 45-year-old Windy Newton, and 43-year-old Nicolette Inexperienced, had been being transported to McLeod Well being, a close-by medical facility. The incident is underneath investigation by the State Legislation Enforcement Division.

An announcement from the Horry County Sheriff’s Workplace claims that the deputies tried to free the women from the again of the van because it was flooded by fast-rising waters, however they had been unsuccessful, The Reduce reported. In response to the report, the 2 deputies climbed to the highest of the van and had been rescued by a excessive water group. The women remained chained within the van.

“Tonight’s incident is a tragedy,” stated Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson, in response to native reviews. “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.”

Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson instructed the Related Press early Wednesday that the van was nonetheless underwater. “They were trying to negotiate through fast-running water, and it just didn’t work out,” Richardson instructed AP in regards to the incident.

Others had questions in regards to the incident. “If that road is in an area where it is a flood risk, why were they driving on that road anyway?” requested State Rep. Justin Bamberg, a trial lawyer in South Carolina who has represented households in instances of police killings, in response to the AP. “People need to know exactly how it happened. It makes it seem like someone took a very unnecessary risk.”