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Girl Drowns -- But Who's to Blame?

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There's a story over on the Indy Channel that's creating a lot of controversy. It's the tragic account of a 5-year-old girl who drowned in a retention pond on Monday night.

chesney allen

Chesney Allen, accompanied by her older brother, had gone to a friend's house to play on Monday at around 5:30 PM. (Chesney's family lives in the Valley Brook Mobile Home Park in Indianapolis, Indiana.)

Chesney's parents called the friend's home later and found out that Chesney wasn't there. "The friend she was going to play with was in time-out, and Chesney had been sent home," said Sgt. Matt Mount. But Chesney apparently didn't go home -- and her brother had already left.

Her parents called the police at 9:20 PM. Neighbors reported that Chesney and other children had been playing near a retention pond as late as 8:00 PM. Chesney's lifeless body was found in the unfenced retention pond at around 11 PM.

Now, commenters are discussing who's to blame: the parents (who didn't call to check on their 5-year-old for more than three hours); the friend's mom (for not walking Chesney back home or calling Chesney's mother to let her know that the little girl was on her way); or the older brother. Of course, some say that NO ONE is to blame: It's just an unfortunate accident.

This is also a tragic reminder to keep kids away from retention ponds. Check out safety tips here, courtesy of the program Water Awareness in Residential Neighborhoods (WARN).

Our thoughts go out to Chesney's family in this horrific time. It's such a sad, sad situation -- and one that could have easily been prevented.

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9 comments so far | Post a comment now
chris April 20, 2010, 1:05 PM

It was a tragic accident.

Sol April 20, 2010, 1:34 PM

Tragic accident.

Lissa April 20, 2010, 1:40 PM

who lets their 5 year old play until 8 pm? and who send a 5 year old home with out calling the other parent? I don’t get people.

sabrina April 20, 2010, 2:15 PM

My son is 6 and i would never send him alone to visit a friends house. I would walk him over myself.

Amy April 20, 2010, 3:07 PM

Don’t judge these people. You don’t know them. Just say a prayer for the family and give your child/children a hug because you still have yours. Be thankful. My heart goes out to this family for their horrific loss.

tanyetta April 20, 2010, 3:29 PM

Very Tragic Loss! Such a sad story!

sean April 21, 2010, 9:38 AM

First off, this was not a tragic accident. In my opinion the blame clearly falls on both sets of parents, more so on the victims parents. Had her mother called her friend’s mother before letting her out to play she would have found out that the friend was being punished and this whole tragedy could have potentially been avoided. Lissa & Sabrina both make good points here, what parent in their right mind lets their 5 year old child play outside at 8pm? Not to mention walk home alone.

sadmom May 4, 2010, 7:38 AM

Ok, first of all I don’t let my 9 year old run around without knowing where he is, however, I do trust him to walk from a friend’s house to home or vice versa. My son has a cell phone that he is only allowed to use for calling home to check in. He has been taught to call when he gets there and to call when he leaves or goes somewhere else. We can’t possiably be everywhere our kids are. This is such a sad story, but one that can happen to anyone. I was a bit angry that the author of this story just had to post that they live in a trailer park…I get so sick of people trying to say that parents that live in trailer parks are not good parents. Anyway, I don’t think anyone is to blame. This could happen to any one of us, no matter where you live.

MORRISONTanya22 December 2, 2010, 10:08 PM

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