South Dakota's attorney general kills pedestrian in Hyde County traffic crash

Jason Ravnsborg headshot

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R) called to report that he hit a deer with his vehicle Saturday night on his way home from a political event, but authorities say he actually struck and killed a man rather than an animal.

The next morning, a body was found in the road instead, that of 55-year-old Joe Boever. "South Dakota Highway Patrol routinely investigates fatality crashes across our state and we will handle this as we would any other fatal crash".

"The attorney general hit my cousin as he was walking down the side of the road and killed him", Mr Nemec told the Argus Leader. South Dakota's Division of Criminal Investigation, which is part of the Attorney General's Office, has handed over the investigation to avoid a conflict of interest, spokesman Tim Bormann told the Rapid City Journal.

Ravnsborg's chief of staff Timothy Bormann called the episode "a tragic accident" in a statement released Monday.

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


In Ravnsborg's own words, he's "shocked and filled with sorrow following the events of last night".

Ravnsborg's office says the Republican Attorney General was driving back from a Lincoln Day Dinner at Rooster's Bar & Grill in Redfield and he had not been drinking. Almost 22 hours passed before investigators identified the body with family members, according to Nick Nemec, Mr Boever's cousin.

Ravnsborg has received six traffic tickets for speeding in South Dakota over the last six years. He said he was supposed to go back to his cousin's home on Sunday to assist in fixing the truck.

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

He was also cited for a seat belt violation in 2017 and paid a $25 fine, according to state records.

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