PIERRE, S.D. (KCAU) – The South Dakota Highway Patrol is leading the investigation of a deadly crash that the state’s Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was involved in.
That news came during a news conference Tuesday that focused on the investigation of Ravnsborg fatally hitting a pedestrian.
Ravnsborg released a statement Monday night saying he was returning to Pierre Saturday night after attending the Spink County Lincoln Day Dinner in Redfield. On Highway 14 near Highmore, he said he hit what he thought was a deer, and called 911 to report the collision. The Hyde County Sheriff arrived at the scene and they tried to determine what Ravnsborg hit, but couldn’t see anything.
Ravensborg said that when returning to the scene the next morning, they discovered they discovered the body of Joe Boever, 56, of Highmore, in the ditch.
Read Ranvsborg’s statement below.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem started the Tuesday news conference by saying she knows there are a lot of questions regarding the investigation.
South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety Col. Craig Price said that the South Dakota Highway Patrol is leading the investigation, which is currently ongoing.
He also said that the medical investigation of Boever was being done in Ramsey County, Minnesota, because of the chief medical examiner of the state is out of the state.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol (SDHP) is leading the investigation, which is a part of South Dakota Department of Public Safety. Interviews of Ravnsborg were being done by North Dakota Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the SDHP, Price said. The South Dakota Department of Public Safety is working with a third-party to recreate the crash
The investigative report will be released once complete, but that there is no set date, Price added. When asked about the 911 calls or transcripts, they will be released at the appropriate time, as will the medical examinations.
Noem was asked whether Ravnsborg would be placed on administrative leave during the investigation but said it hasn’t been addressed yet. Price added that the investigation is a traffic crash investigation, and since the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation is under the Attorney General’s office, they asked the North Dakota BCI to conduct the interviews.
Asked about the perception of bias, Price said they are working to stay objective.
“I think this is something we take very seriously. We do objective work, and I think the process we’re following that, I’m confident we’re following, we’re getting the right people at the right places to do the right job. And I have a ton of confidence in the work they’re doing,”
Noem answered that she can’t speak to what the attorney general’s daily duties are. She added that they brought in outside to stay accountable in the investigation. It is also why the state is in consultation with a third-party for crash recreation.
Watch a replay of the press conference below.