Mother playing 'chicken' with her kids fatally strikes son with SUV, officials say

Lexus Stagg can be seen on surveillance video reversing a white SUV in an apartment complex parking lot as her three small children run toward the vehicle, prosecutors said.
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By Janelle Griffith

A Houston woman who was driving a sport utility vehicle toward her children in an apparent game of "chicken" struck and killed her 3-year-old son, authorities said.

Lexus Stagg allegedly struck and killed her 3-year-old son in a game of "chicken" in Houston.Houston Police Department

Lexus Stagg, 26, was arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide in the boy's June 11 death, Harris County prosecutors said in a statement Friday.

“Cars aren’t toys and playing chicken with your kids isn’t a game,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in the statement.

Stagg can be seen on surveillance video reversing a white Lincoln Navigator in an apartment complex parking lot as her three small children run toward the vehicle, prosecutors said. When the kids are just feet from the SUV, it moves forward, trapping the 3-year-old under the right front tire.

Authorities said Stagg continued to drive forward and ran the boy over again with the right rear tire of the SUV, which weighs approximately 5,600 pounds.

He was taken to the hospital by ambulance but later died.

Stagg initially told police she thought she hit a speed bump when she was going in reverse.

She was arrested Thursday and appeared in probable cause court Friday morning. Prosecutors requested she be held on $50,000 bail. It was set by the magistrate at $1,500.

It is unclear whether Stagg has an attorney.

“You should be playing Peek-A-Boo with a 3-year-old instead of forcing him to try and dodge a 5,600 pound deadly weapon,” Sean Teare, chief of the district attorney's vehicular crimes division that is prosecuting the case, said in the statement.

Stagg faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Janelle Griffith

Janelle Griffith is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.