Mom driving SUV in game of 'chicken' strikes, kills 3-year-old son, cops say

It's a case that has left authorities in Texas shaking their heads.

Authorities say a Houston woman behind the wheel of an SUV on June 11 struck and killed her 3-year-old son while apparently engaging the child and his siblings in a game of "chicken."

Harris County prosecutors say surveillance video from a nearby apartment complex shows Lexus Stagg, 26, driving a Lincoln Navigator back and forth as her three young children try to avoid being hit.

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But at one point the 3-year-old is struck. He died later at a hospital, according to authorities.

"You should be playing Peek-A-Boo with a three-year-old instead of forcing him to try and dodge a 5,600-pound deadly weapon," Harris County District Attorney's Office Vehicular Crimes Chief Sean Teare said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"You should be playing Peek-A-Boo with a three-year-old instead of forcing him to try and dodge a 5,600-pound deadly weapon."

— Sean Teare, vehicular crimes chief, Harris County District Attorney's Office

Added District Attorney Kim Ogg: "Cars aren't toys and playing chicken with your kids isn't a game."

Authorities say Stagg was charged with criminally negligent homicide in connection with the child's death.

Lexus Stagg, 26, was charged with criminally negligent homicide in connection with the June 11 death of her son, authorities say. (Houston Police Department)

Lexus Stagg, 26, was charged with criminally negligent homicide in connection with the June 11 death of her son, authorities say. (Houston Police Department)

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The woman told police she simply didn't realize that the child was still in the path of the vehicle, Houston's KHOU-TV reported.

Stagg was booked into the Harris County jail but was no longer being held Saturday.

It's not clear whether she has an attorney to speak on her behalf.

Stagg's two other children were sent to stay with a relative, according to KHOU.

If convicted, Stagg faces 10 years in prison, the Chronicle reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.