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South Dakota Attorney General involved in fatal crash

Published: Sep. 13, 2020 at 4:37 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2020 at 9:46 AM CDT
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(Dakota News Now) - UPDATE 6 p.m. Monday

A fatal crash happened Saturday evening around 10:30, one mile west of Highmore on Highway 14. Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was apparently driving home to Pierre after a GOP dinner in Redfield. He was not injured.

The Department of Public Safety has identified the victim as 55-year-old Joseph Boever of Highmore. Ravnsborg told the Hyde County Sheriff’s Office that he had hit a deer. Boever’s body was discovered the next morning.

According to Ravnsborg’s office, he made the 9-1-1 call immediately after Saturday night’s crash. The attorney general says he thought he hit a deer, but did not realize he had hit a person until the body was found Sunday.

Ravnsborg had been in Redfield Saturday for the Spink County Lincoln Day dinner. It is not yet clear whether or not alcohol or speed was a factor, but a spokesperson for Ravnsborg said the attorney general had made it a practice not to drink at those events.

Some people have raised questions about his driving record. Dakota News Now looked into it and found out he has a history of speeding.

A search of Ravnsborg’s driving record shows that he had six speeding tickets between 2014 and 2018. A majority of them were for driving 5 or 10 miles over the speed limit. However, one traffic stop cited him for driving 85 in a 65 in 2015 and another clocked him driving 80 in a 65 in 2018.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating the incident. Officials have not mentioned whether any charges are pending.

UPDATE, 8 p.m.

Law enforcement officials are reconstructing the scene of a fatal accident that involved South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

Several crews were still on the scene of the crash on the western edge of Highmore Sunday evening, nearly a full day after the crash took place.

Investigators reconstruct the scene of a fatal crash involving S.D. Atty. Gen. Jason Ravnsborg
Investigators reconstruct the scene of a fatal crash involving S.D. Atty. Gen. Jason Ravnsborg(Dakota News Now)

Gov. Kristi Noem announced in an unscheduled press briefing Sunday that Ravnsborg was involved in a fatal crash Saturday night, but released no other details about the incident. Ravnsborg released a statement immediately after the briefing, saying he is “shocked and filled with sorrow following the events of last night.”

A Dakota News Now crew arrived at the scene around 7 p.m. Sunday. Investigators have blocked off around around 200 yards of a section of Highway 14 as they reconstruct the scene.

A white pickup with damage to its front end was in the ditch a few hundred yards down the road from investigators. A South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper at the scene tells Dakota News Now that the vehicle was involved in the accident, but did not provide any specifics.

A pickup at the site of a fatal crash involving S.D. Atty. Gen. Jason Ravnsborg. A trooper said the pickup was involved in the crash.
A pickup at the site of a fatal crash involving S.D. Atty. Gen. Jason Ravnsborg. A trooper said the pickup was involved in the crash.(Dakota News Now)

Many questions still surround the crash, which took place around 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Authorities have not said how many people or vehicles were involved, or if Ravnsborg himself was injured. Dept. of Public Safety Secretary Craig Price said he is personally overseeing the investigation into the crash, and that further details will be released at “a later time.”

South Dakota's attorney general Jason Ravnsborg was involved in a fatal crash Saturday night.
South Dakota's attorney general Jason Ravnsborg was involved in a fatal crash Saturday night.(South Dakota Attorney General Office)

UPDATE, 5:30 p.m.

South Dakota Attorney Gen. Jason Ravnsborg was involved in a fatal crash, though officials have released few details about the incident.

Gov. Kristi Noem announced the crash in an unscheduled media briefing Sunday evening in Sioux Falls.

The crash took place around 10:30 p.m. Saturday on Highway 14 just west of Highmore, according to Dept. of Public Safety Secretary Craig Price. He said he cannot release any details about the crash at this point, saying the investigation is still active and authorities are in the process of notifying the victim’s family.

“We know that the Attorney General was involved. The rest of it is being investigated, and those details will be released at a later time,” Price said.

While Price declined to comment on Ravnsborg’s condition, Ravnsborg released the following statement immediately following Sunday’s briefing:

“I am shocked and filled with sorrow following the events of last night. As Governor Noem stated, I am fully cooperating with the investigation and I fully intend to continue do so moving forward. At this time I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family.”

Noem said Ravnsborg was driving a vehicle involved in the crash.

Price said he will oversee the crash’s investigation.

Original story

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is set to hold a media briefing in Sioux Falls Sunday evening.

The briefing will take place at 5:15 p.m. CST, according to a release from her office sent out Sunday afternoon. The release did not state the reason for the briefing.

Dakota News Now will stream the briefing live on this story.

Gov. Noem media briefing

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem holds a media briefing in Sioux Falls.

Posted by Dakota News Now on Sunday, September 13, 2020

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