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Man Charged In Hit-And-Run That Killed 5-Year-Old

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Police have charged a St. Joseph man today in connection with a hit-and-run crash that left a 5-year-old dead last month.

Jeremy Brian Ulik, 32, is charged with two counts of failing to stop at the scene of an accident in St. Joseph, Minnesota. If convicted, he faces up to six years in jail. He's scheduled to appear in court next month.

The accident occurred on April 13 when a driver hit 5-year-old Cody Nuckolls, who was standing in front of his house on 1st Avenue NW, before speeding off.

The boy's mother told officers that she and her son had been outside waiting for another child to get off a school bus when the incident occurred. Cody's father, William Nuckols, says he remembers the last time he saw his son before the accident.

"Cody and mama were snuggling, then they went out and they were going to grab Hannah from the bus," Nuckols said.

The boy was transported to CentraCare and later transferred to the St. Cloud Hospital, where he died.

According to the criminal complaint, witnesses provided police with information that led them to believe the vehicle involved in the accident belonged to Ulik.

He later acknowledged in a statement to police that he was driving the car when it hit the child, but initially denied seeing, feeling, or hearing anything that indicated he had hit someone and needed to stop.

"That part angered me a little, but you know..." Nuckols said.

Ultimately Ulik told police that he was aware he had struck the child, but thought the boy was okay from what he saw as he drove away.

"I understand he was on his feet, but you still hit him. It doesn't matter," Nuckols said.

Nuckols also says he still carries around a photo of his son, so others can remember too.

"He was a very smart boy, very smart," Nuckols said. "Very good, just everbody loved him."

If you would like to help out, the family has set up a GoFundMe page accepting donations to help pay for the boy's funeral.

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