The Slatest

Texas Mom Accused of Killing 3-Year-Old Son in Game of “Chicken” With SUV

A Lincoln Navigator outside the venue, behind steel crowd control barriers.
A Lincoln Navigator at an event in New York City on Jan. 25, 2018. This car was not the Navigator involved in the crash.
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

A woman in Houston was arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide for allegedly running her 3-year-old son over with an SUV during a game of “chicken.” Harris County prosecutors say surveillance video shows Lexus Stagg, 26, reversing her Lincoln Navigator as her three children ran toward the front of the car. The video then shows the car moving forward toward the children. Two of them managed to get out of the SUV’s path, but one was struck by the car.

“She was in her car and her children were playing in front of her in the parking lot. She put her car into reverse, and drove at least 100 feet,” said Sean Teare, head prosecutor of vehicular crimes for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. “The three kids followed her, followed the car, at which point, the defendant put her car into drive and drove toward her children as they were running toward her. The two older children were able to get out of the way, and tragically, the younger child was not and was run over by two of her tires.”

The 3-year-old was hit by the SUV’s right tire and Stagg reportedly didn’t stop, so he was hit again by the back tire, which, according to the prosecutors, weighs some 5,600 pounds. “She was playing dodge with young children in a 5,600-pound car. The 3-year-old didn’t know that they were playing a game of dodge with a 5,600-pound car and was run over,” Teare said.

Stagg had initially told police she thought she hit a speed bump. Because of her description of what had taken place, police originally called the incident an “unfortunate accident,” noting that the child “ran behind her vehicle as she backed out of her parking spot.” She later admitted she was playing a game when the accident took place. “Every parent has an obligation to protect their children, even from themselves,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “Cars aren’t toys and playing chicken with your kids isn’t a game.”

Stagg was arrested Thursday for the June 11 death and faces up to 10 years in prison.