Reports: Officers who drove into floodwater that ended in deaths of two women made a ‘conscious decision’

Reports: Officers who drove into floodwater that ended in deaths of two women made a ‘conscious decision’
A Horry County Sheriff's Office van was swept away in flood waters resulting in two female mental health detainees drowning in the Little Pee Dee River last month.

HORRY COUNTY - WMBF obtained reports from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy that detail the misconduct that led to the termination of two Horry County Sheriff’s officers following the deaths of two mental health patients who drowned in the back of an HCSO transport van.

Officers Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop were transporting two female mental health patients when they drove around road barriers in Marion County and into flood waters.

Patients Wendy Newton and Nicolette Green later drowned.

The South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy report states Flood and Bishop’s misconduct involved “dangerous and/or unsafe practices involving firearms, weapons, and/or vehicle which indicated either a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons.”

The report continues to state that Flood “made a conscious decision” to drive the van around a barricade and into flood waters.

The report said Flood violated the J. Reuben Long Detention Center policy by “failing to operate an agency-owned vehicle in a careful and prudent manner” and for failing to take appropriate action on the flooded roadway.

Bishop was cited for “failing to make a conscious and conspicuous effort to stop Officer Stephen Flood from driving in floodwater … after being provided an alternative safe route by supervisors.”

Both officers were terminated on Oct. 24.

No criminal charges have been filed against either officer at this time, the documents stated.

According to SCCJA records, the two officers had current Class 2 law enforcement officer certifications for their positions at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Bishop began working at the detention center in March 2012 and completed his training with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in September of that year, according to academy records.

Before the deaths of Green and Newton, Bishop most recently completed 120 hours of in-service training in August.

Flood started working at the detention center in August 2008 and completed his training at the Criminal Justice Academy in March 2009, according to academy records.

Flood completed in-service training most recently in January.

The documents can be read in full below:

Copyright 2018 WMBF. All rights reserved.