SNF under investigation for resident's drowning death during Hurricane Matthew

A South Carolina skilled nursing facility is being investigated after one of its residents drowned just outside its doors during Hurricane Matthew.

Staff at National Health Care – Parklane in Columbia, SC, reportedly told David Outlaw, 66, to come inside when he was smoking outside the facility Saturday morning. He was found by a staff member several minutes later, face down in a puddle underneath his electric wheelchair, according to The State. An autopsy showed Outlaw drowned after falling out of his wheelchair.

The incident is now under investigation by the Richland County Sheriff's Department and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to determine whether negligence was a factor in Outlaw's death.

In statement to McKnight's, NHC – Parklane administrator Melissa Argo said the "initially reported facts" surrounding the incident "may not be entirely correct," but health information privacy laws prevented facility officials from commenting further.

"On October 8, one of our NHC Parklane residents was involved in a very unfortunate incident while exercising his rights as a resident," Argo said. "NHC is cooperating fully with all authorities in the ongoing investigation of this tragedy."