IRVING — A disturbing new twist in the case of three siblings who drowned in an Irving apartment complex pool last month. Police now say their mother was too distracted by her cell phone to even notice her kids were in trouble.
30-year-old Patricia Allen was charged Friday with injury to a child.
The deaths were initially investigated as accidental, but police say new evidence from witnesses who claim Allen was on her phone and texting “constituted a criminal offense.”
Paramedics were called June 24 after Allen took her five kids — ages 3, 6, 9, 10 and 11 — to the MacArthur Place Apartments pool.
Tragically, 11-year-old Anthony Smith, 10-year-old August Smith, and 9-year-old Treshawn Smith died after being pulled from the murky pool.
Irving Officer James McLellan says Allen didn’t even know her kids were underwater until other witnesses walked into the pool area.
“They walked up to the pool and saw the mother sitting on the edge of the pool, looking outward toward the deeper end area of the pool and also observed that the water was still and calm, and no flapping or splashing or bubbles in the water. It was at that point that the mother stepped out,” said Officer McLellan.
Police say Allen and the children, who were not wearing floatation devices, could not swim.
Allen’s youngest children are now in the custody of Child Protective Services.