by Logan Gruber
On Sept. 18, Jeremy Ulik pleaded guilty to the hit-and-run crash which killed 5-year-old Cody Nuckolls on April 13.
Ulik, 32, was charged with two counts of failing to stop at a collision causing injury or death. He pleaded guilty to one of the two counts in exchange for receiving no more than 75 days in jail and the dropping of the other charge.
“It was very emotionally exhausting all week leading up to the hearing,” said William “Ryan” Nuckolls, Cody’s father, during a St. Joseph Newsleader interview.
Nuckolls said reliving the incident is tough.
“I still believe it was an accident, up until the point he drove away,” Nuckolls said.
At the hearing, Nuckolls said he wasn’t sure if Ulik was remorseful. He said he may have been, but it didn’t really show on his face.
He added that by the time the hearing was done, they were through a box-and-a-half of tissues.
“We’re doing OK though,” Nuckolls added. “We’re moving forward, in a positive direction.”
Cody was struck by Ulik’s vehicle on April 13 while Cody’s mother, Lorraine Hipp, waited across the street for his sister to get off of a school bus. Cody was declared dead at the hospital. Police used video from the school bus to identify the vehicle.
Ulik told police he knew he had hit Cody, but believed he was OK because he saw him standing as he drove away.
Ulik has been scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 12.