By David Schwartz
PHOENIX (Reuters) - Two 18-month-old twin boys drowned in a canal in western Arizona after their mother stopped to swat a bee and their stroller fell into the fast-moving waters, police said on Tuesday.
The boys were strapped into the stroller as Alexis Keslar pushed it along the canal bank on Friday and paused briefly to "fend off a bee," said Lieutenant Don Willits of the Yuma Police Department.
The mother jumped in to try to save them, Willits said in a statement, but was thwarted by deep water and a strong current that swept the stroller away.
Keslar was able to climb out of the steep-sided canal and call for help, and the twins, named Silas and Eli Keslar, were found after more than an hour of searching, police said.
They were taken by a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter to the Yuma Regional Medical Center where they were pronounced dead. The incident has been ruled an accidental death, police said.
Family friend Marlene Gleim set up an online fundraising page for the Keslars that had generated more than $20,000 in donations as of midday on Tuesday.
"No parent should ever have to lose a child, let alone two at once," Gleim told the local newspaper.
(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Eric Beech)