A Texas mother is in grief as three of her five children drowned at their apartment complex’s pool, but police are saying that it happened while she was distracted with her cell phone.
According to CBS News, authorities in Irving, Texas, said that Patricia Allen was sitting by her apartment pool on her cell phone on June 24 when three of her five children drowned. Reports said that the kids were unable to swim, but Allen’s husband and friends refuted that.
Witnesses said that they saw Allen by the pool, but on her cell phone, and they saw that the water was quiet and calm. According to the witnesses, Allen was not reacting to the scene when they arrived, but quickly began to panic and ask for someone to call the authorities.
"[They] walked up to the pool and saw the mother sitting on the edge of the pool looking outward toward the deeper end of the pool and also observed that the water was still and calm, that there was no flapping or splashing or bubbles in the water," Irving police spokesman James McLellan said. "It was at that point that the mother stepped out."
According to the police report, Anthony, 11, August 10, and Treshawn, 9, were the children of Allen’s that were in the pool and drowned. Her other two kids are now with Child Protective Services and were with her at the time of the incident, police say.
Family spokesman Anthony Bond told CBS DFW that he does not believe that Allen is a bad parent and the whole ordeal was a terrible mistake. "Patricia Allen is far from a criminal," he said. "She is a loving, caring, and one of the sweetest people I've met for the first time. And she's a grieving mother."
CBS News adds that area churches are planning to reach out to Allen and try to help her pay the $50,000 bond.