Update: Family of victim seeks answers after fatal crash involving A.G.

Joseph Boever (submitted photo)
Joseph Boever (submitted photo)(Submitted photo)
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 11:40 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - UPDATE, 1:45 p.m.

Victim Identified In Fatal Crash Involving SD Attorney General

Investigators say Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg reported hitting a deer following a crash that left a Highmore man dead, while the family of the victim is calling for more information about the incident to be released.

Ravnsborg called 911 immediately after the Saturday night’s crash on Highway 14 outside of Highmore, saying he believed he had hit a deer. The body of the victim, 55-year-old Joseph Boever of Highmore, was not found until the next morning.

Boever’s cousin, Victor Nemec, told Dakota News Now he believes the state is being “tight-lipped” in the investigation. He said the state has not reached out to him yet, despite him having been the one to identify Boever’s body after it was found in the ditch Sunday morning.

“It seems like there has been a lot of foot-dragging and lack of investigating going on,” Nemec said.

Original story

State officials have identified the man killed in an accident involving South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

Fifty-five-year-old Joseph Boever of Highmore died in Saturday night’s crash, according to Department of Public Safety spokesperson Tony Mangan.

Mangan said Ravnsborg was driving a 2011 Ford Taurus westbound on U.S. Highway 14 around 10:30 p.m. when he struck Boever. Ravnsborg called the Hyde County Sheriff’s Office and said he believed he had been involved in a car-deer crash.

Boever’s body was not found until Sunday morning.

In an interview with Dakota News Now, Boever’s cousin, Nick Nemec, provided other details about the crash. Nemec said Boever had crashed his pickup into a hay bale prior to Saturday night’s accident. After the crash, Nemec gave Boever a ride back to his home in Highmore, about a mile-and-a-half away. Nemec said he and Boever made plans to fix the pickup on Sunday morning. But Saturday night, Boever decided to go back to the truck. Nemec did not know why Boever returned to the vehicle Saturday night.

Joseph Boever's pickup in the ditch outside of Highmore. Boever's family says he had crashed...
Joseph Boever's pickup in the ditch outside of Highmore. Boever's family says he had crashed it earlier Saturday, and was apparently walking back to the vehicle when he was struck.(Dakota News Now)

Ravnsborg was apparently driving home to Pierre after a GOP dinner in Redfield. Dakota News Now also spoke with the owner of the Rooster Bar, who confirmed Ravnsborg attended the Spink County Lincoln Day Dinner earlier that evening. Tim Bormann, a spokesperson for Ravnsborg’s office, also confirmed he was at the Republican event. He says Ravnsborg immediately called 911 after the crash on U.S. Highway 14. Bormann says that the attorney general is known to have an occasional drink, but has made it a practice not to drink at the Lincoln Day events.

However, some people have raised questions about his driving record. We 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 five 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.

Mangan said Ravnsborg was not injured. He said the South Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

Gov. Kristi Noem first announced Ravnsborg was involved in a fatal crash Sunday evening, though authorities initially did not provide any other details.

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)

Ravnsborg released the following statement Sunday evening:

“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.”

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