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DAY 2: Law enforcement officers testify about flooded road in Horry County deputy trial

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 7:33 AM EDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 9:32 AM EDT
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MARION COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The trial for a former Horry County deputy resumed Tuesday.

Stephen Flood is accused of causing the deaths of two mental health patients, Nicolette Green and Wendy Newton. He is charged with two counts of reckless homicide and two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

TRIAL COVERAGE | Trial begins for former Horry County deputy accused in transport van drownings

Flood and another former deputy, Joshua Bishop, were transporting Green and Newton to behavioral health centers in Darlington and Lancaster in a prison transport van in September 2018, when it was swept away by floodwaters in Marion County.

Flood and Bishop were able to escape, but Green and Newton were locked in the back of the transport van and could not escape.

During day two, several law enforcement officers testified about how they were on Highway 76, preventing people from driving around the flood barrier and onto the flooded road.

Nicolette Green (left) and Wendy Newton drowned September 18, 2018 in the back of an Horry...
Nicolette Green (left) and Wendy Newton drowned September 18, 2018 in the back of an Horry County Sheriff's Office transport van. (Source: Green and Newton families)

All the law enforcement officers testified they were instructed to allow only two kinds of vehicles through. Those vehicles were vehicles of officials and vehicles of people who live in places where they can only access their houses by driving on the road.

Zachery Eskew was a National Guard member at the time. He testified he spoke with Flood as he approached the barrier.

He testified that Flood indicated to him he wanted to drive down Highway 76 to see how the road looked.

Eskew testified he let Flood go around the barrier since he was instructed to allow all official vehicles through.

Also during day two of the trial, two deputies with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office testified that they were involved in a separate transport of a mental health patient on the same day.

Deputies Latifiah Witherspoon and Bruce Crawford testified that they were paired for the transport and that they also came across a flooded road that was blocked by a barrier.

They testified that they turned around and used a different route for the transport to avoid the flooded road.

Bishop also faces two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the case. He will be tried separately on those charges at a later date.

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