WARNING: Disturbing content

A shocking video shows the moment a "game of chicken" goes horribly wrong, as a mother runs over her young son and kills him.

The mother, who ran over her three-year-old son with her front and rear tyres, claimed the June 11 killing was an accident.

The CCTV footage, obtained by police, shows Lexus Stagg, 26, reversing her large white Lincoln Navigator SUV in the carpark of her apartment complex in Houston, Texas. As she backs into the driveway, three small children run towards the moving car.

As the little boy approaches the car, Ms Stagg begins to drive the SUV forward, running over the boy with her front and rear tyres.

Ms Stagg claimed the killing was an accident, telling authorities she'd believed she'd hit a speed bump while she drove her car in reverse, according to 6 ABC news. The video, however, shows the collision with her son happening while the car was in drive.

Ms Stagg was arrested on Thursday and appeared in Harris County Probable Cause Court in Houston on Friday.

The prosecution argued officers at the scene located evidence suggesting the child had been hit with the front of the vehicle.

Lexus Stagg ran over her son, 3, during a game of chicken while her son was running at her car. Picture: Houston Police Department
Lexus Stagg ran over her son, 3, during a game of chicken while her son was running at her car. Picture: Houston Police Department

Officers found "bodily fluids towards the front" of the SUV and learned the apartment complex was equipped with CCTV that may have captured the incident.

After the incident, police allege Ms Stagg got out of her car and went and looked at her son's body on the concrete.

The mother has now been charged with criminally negligent homicide by the Harris County District Attorney's Office. She wept in court as the details of the prosecution's case against her was read aloud.

Her bail was set at $US15,000 ($A21,586), and she ran from reporters after making bail.

Prosecutors had requested a bail fee of $US50,000.

Ms Stagg faces 10 years in prison if she is found guilty.

Harris County lawyer Kim Ogg said, "Cars aren't toys, and playing chicken with your kids isn't a game."

"You should be playing peek-a-boo with a three-year-old instead of forcing him to try and dodge a 5600-pound deadly weapon," said Sean Teare, chief of the Harris County District Attorney's vehicular crimes office.