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Grand jury indicts former HCSO corrections officers in 2018 van drowning case

NICHOLS, SC (WBTW) – A grand jury has indicted two former Horry County Sheriff’s Office corrections officers in the 2018 van drowning case.

12th Circuit Solicitor Ed Clements confirmed to WBTW that Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop have been indicted in the case.

The officers were transporting Nicolette Green and Wendy Newton on September 18 when their van was swept away by Hurricane Florence floodwaters on Hwy. 76 outside of Nichols.

Flood is scheduled to be in court in Marion on Tuesday morning, according to Attorney Jonny McCoy. 

McCoy said Flood will ask a judge about letting him work a certain job. 

In April, News13 reported that a judge found probable cause in the cases against Flood and Bishop.

Stephen Flood, the van's driver, and Joshua Bishop, the passenger, had preliminary hearings in a Marion County courtroom on April 8.

The judge found enough evidence to move forward with the cases. Testimony was heard from the lead State Law Enforcement Division investigator. SLED also read the official statements that Bishop and Flood provided to authorities during the investigation. 

Flood and Bishop previously appeared before a Marion County judge after turning themselves into the Marion County Detention Center in January.

Flood's bond was set at $30,000 by a judge. Flood was released on bond on January 4, according to booking records.

Bishop's bond was set at $10,000. Booking records show he was released on bond on Jan. 4.

Flood’s report said he was the driver and that he “made a conscious decision to drive a transport van around a barricade and into floodwaters (a substantial risk) that resulted in the death of patients after being provided a safe route by supervisors to avoid floodwaters.”

In the response section of his form, Flood stated: “the facts in this report are not true.”

Bishop’s report suggests he “failed to make a conscious and conspicuous effort to stop Officer Stephen Flood from driving into floodwater” after “being provided an alternate safe route by supervisors.”

In the response section of his form, Bishop marked through it and didn’t comment.

The employment of Flood and Bishop were terminated on Oct. 24, according to a press release from the HCSO. This came "as the result of an ongoing internal administrative investigation into the incident where two female occupants died when a detention center transport van was overtaken by floodwaters."


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