He Says He Thought He Hit a Deer, but a Body Was Found

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg's collision is under investigation
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2020 2:15 PM CDT
Fatal Accident Involving State AG Is Under Investigation
A 2014 photo of South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.   (AP Photo/Dirk Lammers, File)

South Dakota's attorney general called 911 Saturday night to say that he'd struck a deer on a local highway, per his office. As it turns out, AG Jason Ravnsborg fatally struck a 55-year-old pedestrian whose body wasn't found until the following morning, reports the Rapid City Journal. The crash is now under investigation, and the 44-year-old Ravnsborg says he is "shocked and filled with sorrow" and cooperating with the investigation, per the Argus Leader. The AP reports Ravnsborg was driving home to Pierre from a political fundraising dinner in Redfield about 110 miles away when the collision took place on Highway 14. His office says he immediately called 911 about 10:30pm after colliding with what he thought was a deer.

A Department of Public Safety news release doesn't say whether Ravnsborg stopped to confirm or inspect his vehicle's damage. Ravnsborg's office says he didn't realize he hit a person until news broke on Sunday that a body was found. The victim is Joseph Boever, and family members say he had earlier crashed his truck into a hay bale near where he was fatally struck. A spokesperson for Ravnsborg says that while the attorney general does drink, he "has made it a practice not to drink at the Lincoln Day events," per the AP, referring to the name of the political function he attended. To avoid a conflict of interest, the accident will be investigated by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in neighboring North Dakota, notes the Journal. (More South Dakota stories.)

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