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5-Year-Old Girl Drowns: 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, 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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