Family of South Carolina woman who drowned in caged sheriff van gets $1 million payout

The family of a woman who drowned in South Carolina while being transported to a mental institution in a sheriff’s van during Hurricane Florence has settled a lawsuit over her death.

On Monday, a settlement wrongful death and survival claims were made to the van’s maker, awarding $1,000,000 to Linda Green, a relative of the 43-year-old victim, Nicolette Green.

Nicolette Green was taken to McLeod Behavior Health Services in Darlington when she drowned in a caged van driven by Horry County officers on September 18, 2018.

A wrongful death and survival claims settlement was filed Monday, awarding Linda Green, a relative of the 43-year-old victim, Nicolette Green, $1,000,000.

Nicolette, was being transported to McLeod Behavior Health Services in Darlington when she drowned in a caged van driven by Horry County deputies on September 18, 2018.

Nicolette, was being transported to McLeod Behavior Health Services in Darlington when she drowned in a caged van driven by Horry County deputies on September 18, 2018.

The van, which also carried 45-year-old Wendy Newton, was manufactured by American Aluminum Accessories and contained a caged compartment modified with one exit door and one emergency escape route.

The van, which also carried 45-year-old Wendy Newton, was manufactured by American Aluminum Accessories and contained a caged compartment modified with one exit door and one emergency escape route.

Wendy Newton, 45, was also in the van, which was manufactured by American Aluminum Accessories and contained a caged compartment modified with one exit door and one emergency escape path.

Both women died after deputies Joshua Bishop and Stephen Flood were driven into water near the Little Pee Dee River in Marion County during the storm.

the delegates survived after escaping and waiting on the roof of the vehicle for help.

On May 28, a petition for approval was filed in the 15th Circuit Court, declaring that American Aluminum Accessories agreed to the $1 million settlement, paying $500,000 for the wrongful death claim and $500,000 for the survival claims.

Later, on June 2, 2021, a full hearing took place. The court approved the settlement.

Both women died after deputies Joshua Bishop and Stephen Flood drove into water near the Little Pee Dee River in Marion County

Both women died after deputies Joshua Bishop and Stephen Flood drove into water near the Little Pee Dee River in Marion County

Wendy Newton, 45, (pictured) was also in the van with Green when it drove into floodwaters near the Little Pee Dee River in Marion County

Wendy Newton, 45, (pictured) was also in the van with Green when it drove into floodwaters near the Little Pee Dee River in Marion County

Linda Green had collected $400,000.00 in attorney fees and $48,328.46 in expenses incurred. The gross amount for Green, less fees paid from the settlement, will be $551,671.54.

In addition, Green is also suing Horry County, the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Phillip Thompson, Elizabeth Orlando and the two former officers who drove the van.

Green’s family told CBS she had three children, but one died of cancer in 2015.

Her 19-year-old daughter Nicolette Hershberger said Green was diagnosed with schizophrenia a few years before her death and saw a new therapist on the day of the incident.

The therapist said Green had to be admitted to a mental institution shortly after.

According to the sheriff, Newton and Green were in the back of the van the night they died. Thompson said he doesn’t believe they were handcuffed or in police shackles.

In addition, Green is also suing Horry County, the Horry County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Phillip Thompson, Elizabeth Orlando and the two former officers who drove the truck.

In addition, Green is also suing Horry County, the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Phillip Thompson, Elizabeth Orlando and the two former officers who drove the truck.

Due to the dangerous conditions, rescuers were unable to immediately retrieve the bodies and were removed from the water on Wednesday evening, almost 24 hours later.

Due to the dangerous conditions, rescuers were unable to immediately retrieve the bodies and were removed from the water on Wednesday evening, almost 24 hours later.

He said Bishop and Flood tried to free Newton and Green “for a long period of time” but ended up having to take refuge on the roof of the vehicle as the floodwaters rose.

“I’m not sure if it was the way the van was positioned, against a guardrail, or if it was water pressure, but unfortunately they were unable to get the van doors open and the ladies out.” get,” Thompson said. at that moment.

The section of Highway 76 where the van was parked was closed that night, according to the South Carolina Department of Transportation. Officials told WMBF that it had been closed for a while.

It took a rescue crew 45 minutes to locate the sunken van. The officers were plucked from the roof and brought to safety by boat. According to CBSBy the time the crews reached the women, the van was under water.

Due to the dangerous conditions, rescuers were unable to retrieve the bodies immediately and were removed from the water nearly 24 hours later.

‘We are sorry. We are very proud of what we do. We work hard to protect and serve our citizens, and we are deeply saddened that this event has happened,” Thompson said.

Both Flood and Bishop were fired from the sheriff’s office in October 2018. They were indicted by a grand jury in 2019 after an internal investigation. Flood was charged with two counts of reckless manslaughter and two counts of involuntary manslaughter, while Bishop was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The case is pending.

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