In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, St. Joseph police have said they found both the vehicle and driver who hit and killed a 5-year-old St. Joseph boy at about 2:30 p.m. April 13 on the 300 block of 1st Avenue NW.
Cody James Nuckolls, son of William “Ryan” Nuckolls and Lorraine Hipp, was with his mother outside of their home at the time of the incident. They were waiting for another child to get off of a school bus.
Hipp crossed the road to wait for the bus while Cody remained near their home. The bus stopped, blocking Cody from Hipps’ view. During that time, Hipp said she heard Cody yell and then saw him fall to the ground, but she did not see a moving vehicle. Hipp believed he had fallen and was experiencing a medical condition.
Both parents drove Cody to CentraCare Plaza, seeking medical attention. Cody was then transported by ambulance to the St. Cloud Hospital’s emergency room where he was pronounced dead.
In the course of the investigation, police and the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department reviewed the school-bus security footage and interviewed children on the bus. It was determined Cody was struck by a black Chevy Trailblazer.
Police found and seized the vehicle and then interviewed the suspect, who is cooperating with investigators. A search warrant will be conducted on the vehicle, and an autopsy is being conducted by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The school bus was not directly involved in the incident and no passengers were in danger.
The investigation is ongoing, and the information above is all that is known as of press time Wednesday.
Ryan Nuckoll’s employer, Casey’s General Store in St. Joseph, has set out donation jars at six of their area locations.
“Our area supervisors were the ones who got that started,” said Greg Hartung, manager of the St. Joseph Casey’s in a Newsleader interview. “When we first heard about Cody, it didn’t even feel real at first…[we were in] disbelief that something like this could happen around here.”
If you would like to make a donation to help the family defray funeral expenses, you can do so at the six area Casey’s, as well as online at gofundme.com/RestInPeaceCody.