• Flood deaths of mental patients in police van scrutinized

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    COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina lawmakers want answers after two mental health patients drowned when sheriff's deputies drove into floodwaters.

    [READ MORE: Women die in flooded van driven by South Carolina deputies]

    Authorities say Wendy Newton and Nicolette Green were under court orders to be taken to a mental health facility when the deputies drove around a barricade closing a road where floodwaters were rapidly rising after Hurricane Florence in September.

    Courtesy: WPDE
    Courtesy: WPDE
    (Nicolette Green)

    [RELATED: NC man dies from bacteria infection during Florence aftermath clean-up]

    Investigators say Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop tried to get the women out of the sheriff's van, but couldn't. They were rescued from the top of the van.

    [RELATED: 'Imminent dangers' force suspension of Marshville mental health facility]

    The deputies were fired last month. State Criminal Justice Academy records say Flood made a conscious decision to drive around the barricade and Bishop didn't try to stop him.

    A criminal investigation is ongoing.

    A Senate subcommittee will discuss the deaths at 10 a.m. Thursday.

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