Mother accused of talking on cell phone while three of her children drowned in pool nearby

A mother accused of standing by on her cell phone while three of her children drowned has spoken out, saying she was busy saving her fourth child from dying when the tragedy happened.

Patricia Allen, 30, a mother-of-five, was arrested after sons Treshawn, 9, and Anthony Smith, 11, drowned at a pool in Irving in June along with their sister August Smith, 10.

Speaking for the first time since the tragedy, Allen said she was in the pool with her children when they went under water, but was forced to leave them to rescue her three-year-old after he also got into trouble.

Allen also contradicted police claims that none of her children could swim, telling KHOU TV: ‘My children knew how to swim. I would never put them in a situation like that.’

The tragedy unfolded on June 24 when Allen took her five children, aged 3, 6, 9, 10, and 11, to a pool behind an apartment complex in the city of Irving.

According to earlier police reports, Allen had been on the side of the pool tending to youngest children with her back turned to the pool when her other three children went under.

An apartment maintenance worker who heard her cries for help dived in and got two of the boys out of the water, before fire crews were called and later found Allen’s daughter.

Police reports said the water in the pool was extremely murky that day, and they had struggled to find the child’s body at the bottom of the deep end.

Allen’s daughter August was pronounced dead at the scene, and her sons were taken to an emergency center in Houston where they died after five days on life support.

At the time, police said a witness had described how Allen was talking on her cell phone within arm’s reach of the children as they drowned, but did nothing.

Allen was arrested the following month for causing harm to a child, and her two remaining children were taken into protective custody.

However, Allen has now hit back, saying she was in the water with the children that day, playing with her three-year-old son at the shallow end, while his siblings played at the deep end.

She said she was holding her three year old, spinning him around in circles, when she suddenly noticed that something was wrong.

Speaking to KHOU, she said: ‘About the third time I spun in a circle, I noticed that my 9-year-old, Trishawn, was being pulled under the water.

‘I seen his red shorts and side of his face as he was being pulled in.’

She said there was no splashing or warning sign that the youngsters were in trouble, only the silence that fell after they had disappeared.

Allen claims she set her three-year-old back on the side of the pool while she went to try and help her other children, but as she turned around the young boy jumped back in and began struggling.

She said she was then left with a ‘Sophie’s choice’, to go back and rescue her three-year-old, or try and find the older children on the bottom of the pool. She chose to go back.

Speaking of the moment she returned to the deep end, she added: ‘I dived back in the pool where I thought I last seen them. I couldn’t see them… couldn’t find them… couldn’t feel them.’

She said she watched in horror as the three youngsters were pulled out of the pool, and said she tried to give CPR to her daughter, but to no avail.

Attorney Howard Rosenstein, who took on Allen’s case for free, said he could prove she was not on her phone at the time of the accident, and blame for the deaths rested with apartment workers who allowed the family to swim in the murky pool.

Allen says her only aim now is to get her two remaining children back so the ‘indescribable pain’ she feels can begin to heal.

Source: The DailyMail

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