Police don't suspect 'malicious' activity in St. Joseph fatal hit-and-run

A 5-year-old boy was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in St. Joseph, Minn. on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, police confirmed they identified the suspect, who lives in the area but is not being identified at this time. However, police said they don't suspect anything malicious occurred, and that the driver may not have even known the child was struck.

Just after 2:30 p.m., Cody James Nuckolls was struck on a private road in front of his house on the 300 block of First Avenue Northwest. Cody and his mother, Lorraine Hipp, were outside the house waiting for another child to get off the school bus. Hipp crossed First Avenue to wait for the child while Cody waited near their home.

When the bus arrived, it blocked Hipp's view, and at one point, she said she heard Cody yell out, so she crossed the street and saw her son fall to the pavement, but she didn't see any moving vehicles. When she got to him, she thought he may have been experiencing a medical issue of some sort. Hipp and her husband Ryan Nuckolls brought Cody to CentraCare Plaza in St. Cloud, and Cody was then brought by ambulance to the St. Cloud Hospital ER where he was pronounced dead.

"His screams were the last words that I heard out of his mouth, and that kills me," Hipp said.

Investigators scanned school bus video and interviewed kids on the bus. They believed Cody was hit by a black Chevy Trailblazer and tracked down the suspected driver 6-and-a-half hours later. A search warrant will be conducted on the vehicle and the suspected driver is cooperating with the investigation. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office will release the official cause of death.

The school bus was not "directly" involved in the incident, police said, and the passengers on the bus were not in any danger.

A GoFundMe site has beet set up to benefit the family: http://www.gofundme.com/RestInPeaceCody 
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