Five months after accident, Boever family still awaiting answers

Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg struck and killed Joe Boever while driving home from a political event last September. Since then, the state’s attorney overseeing the case has been radio silent.
Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 8:08 PM CST
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HIGHMORE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - It has been exactly five months since Joe Boever was struck and killed by Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg just outside of Highmore on U.S. Route 14. Boever was walking back from his disabled white Ford F-150 truck, Ravnsborg was driving back to Pierre from a political event in Redfield.

The family still has no answers.

Joseph Boever (submitted photo)
Joseph Boever (submitted photo)(Submitted photo)

“Early on, I talked to Department of Public Safety (DPS) every week for a few months,” said Nick Nemec, cousin of Boever. “The answer was always the investigation was ongoing.”

Victor and Nick Nemec are brothers, and Boever’s closest family in the area. They tried early on to get various updates from the state, but did not receive much.

The lack of answers has led to skepticism.

“I think he is going to get off,” Nick states. “I would like to see him charged and found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but I think he is going to get off. I think he will eventually plead guilty to some traffic violation.”

“I have absolutely no confidence in the South Dakota Justice System in getting justice in this case.”

The Nemecs say that they have not attempted to reach out to the Hyde County State’s Attorney overseeing the investigation, Emily Sovell, nor the sheriff who responded that night, Mike Volek. They also say they have not heard from Ravnsborg since the accident. Ravnsborg has said previously that he attempted to reach out to members of the family.

Both Volek and Sovell have ignored multiple requests for comment from media outlets regarding the investigation. Ravnsborg spoke publicly for the first time about the accident in December.

“We grew up playing together,” said Victor. “When there were family gatherings, Joe and I were the two closest in age, we hung out together, played together, and went to college together. Not only were we cousins, we were friends.”

Victor says that although Joe was shy, he had a knack for good conversation.

“Hanging out together... You know, if he was feeling lonely, he would come on over and we would just hang out and talk,” said Victor. “Have a meal together... He used to help me out on the farm once and a while also.”

“I don’t know if things have really changed for me,” says Nick. “I lost my cousin. I have well over 100 cousins, but Joe was a cousin that I had a lot more interaction with than other cousins. He’s not here anymore.”

After a private funeral last September, Boever’s remains were cremated and spread across his father’s grave, who died just a few weeks before he did.

One of lone remaining possessions of Joe’s that the Nemecs have is his white pickup truck, a small piece of the puzzle from that fateful evening.

Despite the frustration, the family continues to try and move on.

“I am getting by alright, I miss my cousin... We all have to go on with our lives too,” Victor says.

When reached for comment on this story, Ravnsborg shared the following via a spokesperson: “The Attorney General, like all involved and following the incident, is anticipating a conclusion of this investigation soon. We know those involved are using the resources available for a thorough examination of the facts. Our hearts and prayers continue to be with the family.”

RELATED: Noem: Lack of action on Ravnsborg case ‘grave disservice’ to victim’s family

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