A mother in Irving, Texas has been arrested after three of her five children drowned in a swimming pool while she was supposed to be watching them. 30-year-old Patricia Denise Allen was arrested and charged with one felony count of injury to a child, after witnesses say the mother was inattentive and texting on her phone at the time of the incident, Fox 4 News reported.
“A witness that was at the pool prior to the drownings said that he believed the defendants to be texting and using her cell phone while she was attending to the 3-year-old on the side of the pool,” authorities state in Allen’s arrest warrant.
The tragedy occurred at the apartment complex swimming pool where Allen lived. Police said Allen was playing with her three and four-year-old children at the time, with her back turned to her nine, 10, and 11-year-old.
It is not known how long it took for the mother to realize her three oldest children had sunk underwater. They were pulled from the pool—one died at the hospital shortly afterward, the other two died after being placed on life support for one day.
According to authorities, none of the children or their mother knew how to swim. According to witnesses, none of the children had flotation devices.
Apparently the pool water was cloudy, and the visibility of underwater swimmers was poor.
Officer James McLellan of the Irving Police Department said that the water was still with no bubbles and no indication of a struggle.
“They may have been under for a while and it was at that point,” said McLellan. He indicated that there was no malicious intent behind the deaths.
“This is a difficult case,” he said. “This lady has suffered the loss of three of her children and we don’t believe she set out to in any way harm these children.”
Allen posted $50,000 bond, according to Dallas News.