Two Women Seeking Mental Health Care Drowned in Sheriff’s Van


From The New York Times: “Sometime that evening, the van, carrying Ms. Green and Wendy Newton, another woman being transported to a mental health facility, was overtaken by the flooding waters of the Pee Dee River. The two sheriff’s deputies in the van managed to get out, said Sheriff Phillip E. Thompson of Horry County in a Wednesday afternoon news conference. The women did not.

By the time emergency workers arrived by boat and found the deputies on the van’s roof, it was too dark to dive. The van, with Ms. Green and Ms. Newton inside, remained in the waters by Highway 76 overnight. Their bodies were recovered Wednesday evening.

For the families of the two dead women, there was one big question: How could the state take someone in, ostensibly to make her better, to protect her even from herself — and then let her drown by the side of a highway?

‘Why the hell would they leave a safe, dry area to go to God knows what?’ asked Allison Newton, Wendy Newton’s daughter. ‘Something feels wrong about this.'”

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  1. This sad story is WRONG on so many, many levels. But there’s one thing that’s common to most, if not all States, including here in New Hampshire. Any person who has been, or is, “involuntarily committed” to a “mental health receiving facility” WILL BE transported in handcuffs and shackles by Sheriff’s Deputies, in a Sheriff’s cruiser, or van in this case. HANDCUFFS and SHACKLES. Even if the victim-“patient” hasn’t been charged with a crime, – and most aren’t. Some quack says you’re “a danger to self or others due to mental illness”, and you’re treated like a criminal. I challenge and defy AMY doctor or clinician reading this to comment below, and defend this barbaric practice. There is NO excuse for these women to have died. Yes, the Sheriff’s deputies should be charged with “criminally negligent homicide”. they KNEW, or SHOULD HAVE KNOWN, that their “actions were likely to result in injury or death” to these 2 women. If ALL the people in the van had drowned, hey, too bad. But the Sheriff’s Deputies saved themselves, WHY NOT the 2 women?….

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  2. a growing number of people in America…

    DO NOT MATTER. Its so strange, we’re becoming this sick culture in which most people are essentially invisible, especially in situations like this.

    Female, “mentally ill,”
    probably working class or poor…


    Maybe they’ll do something about it. Kind of helps that they were female and seeking “help” (women are usually rewarded for voluntarily seeking mental health ‘treatment,’ or so it seems), vs non-white and male vs an aggressive, impoverished male ‘mental patient’…

    but still. i kind of doubt much will come of this case, but I could very well (hopefully…) be wrong.

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