South Dakota AG Thought He Hit a Deer, but Struck, Killed Pedestrian

(CN) — South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg struck and killed a pedestrian with his car while returning from a GOP event Saturday night.

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Police and family confirm the collision killed Highmore resident Joe Boever, 56, whose body was discovered Sunday morning, according to the Department of Public Safety. Ravnsborg reported the crash to the Hyde County Sheriff’s Office stating that he believed he had hit a deer.  

In an unscheduled Sunday evening press conference at City Hall in Sioux Falls, Governor Kristi Noem confirmed that a fatality had occurred as a result of the collision and that Ravnsborg was involved.

Immediately following Noem’s press conference, Ravnsborg’s office issued a statement. 

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

Tim Bormann, Ravnsborg’s chief of staff for the Attorney General, confirmed that Ravnsborg had been on his way back to Pierre from the Spink County Lincoln Day Dinner, a GOP event, at the time of the collision.

The attorney general’s office said investigators from North Dakota are assisting in the investigation because of the conflict created by the attorney general’s role in the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.

Formerly an attorney in the town of Yankton, Ravnsborg, 44, was elected attorney general in 2018, succeeding Marty Jackley who held the office since 2009. 

Tony Mangan, spokesperson for the Highway Patrol, said the Highway Patrol is leading the investigation at the behest of Noem.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol investigation is ongoing, and no other details are currently available.

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