South Dakota AG Reported Hitting Deer, But Police Found Man's Body

Clay Curtis
September 15, 2020

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg told authorities that he thought he hit a deer after striking and killing a pedestrian Saturday night, according to the state highway patrol.

Jason Ravnsborg's office says the attorney general called police immediately after he got into an accident, and he did not realize at the time he had hit a man, Joseph Boever, 55.

During an impromptu press conference on Sunday night, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) announced that Ravnsborg had been involved in a fatal vehicle accident near Highmore.

The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation will aide in the investigation. Bormann told the outlet that his agency will not participate in order to avoid a conflict of interest (it is a part of the Attorney General's Office, and Bormann is Ravnsborg's chief of staff).

"I am shocked and filled with sorrow following the events of last night", Ravnsborg, a Republican, said in a statement obtained by The Mitchell Republic.

An investigation has been launched and will be overseen by Cabinet Secretary for the South Dakota Department of Public Safety Craig Price.

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Ravnsborg's office said he called 911 after the accident, but state investigators did not reveal whether he reported the crash via 911.

Ravnsborg is serving his first term as attorney general after being elected in 2018. They both returned to the accident scene, where Volek said he would handle the investigation and asked Ravnborg to return to Pierre, according to Ravnsborg's statement.

The spokesman said that while Mr Ravnsborg did drink occasionally, he did not make a habit of drinking during Lincoln Day events, which he was attending the night of the incident.

Ravnsborg has received six traffic tickets for speeding in South Dakota over the last six years. "Law enforcement is working on identifying the deceased and notifying the family". Boever told his cousin that he struck the bale of hay after going off the road while reaching for tobacco. He picked up Boever and drove him home, promising to give him a lift to retrieve the truck on Sunday morning.

"A deer doesn't look like a human", said Boever's cousin, Victor, told the Journal.

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