Investigators: State AG Was Distracted During Deadly Crash

But what distracted Ravnsborg hasn't been revealed
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2020 3:32 PM CST
Investigators: State AG Was Distracted During Deadly Crash
In this Feb. 23, 2014, file photo Jason Ravnsborg speaks in Sioux Falls, SD.   (AP Photo/Dirk Lammers, File)

The investigation into the fatal crash involving South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg is nearly complete, the state's governor and public safety secretary said in a Monday press conference. The big finding is that Ravnsborg was distracted when he struck and killed a pedestrian on Sept. 12—a crash in which he said he thought he hit a deer. Ravnsborg ultimately spotted Joseph Boever's body the next morning when he drove past the scene while on his way to return the vehicle loaned to him the night prior by Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek, who responded to the crash. But some details are still pending, reports the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, including the way in which Ravnsborg was distracted when he hit Boever, 55.

Public Safety Sec. Craig Price noted that not all driving distractions are illegal: "We all know you can’t text and drive. Looking at something you dropped on the floor, reaching down to grab it, and taking your eyes off the road for a moment, I don’t know that would be against the law." While a crash report published Monday shows Boever had a light in his hand as he walked, it does not reveal whether he was following state law by walking against traffic. The Hyde County State’s Attorney’s Office will decide whether to bring charges against Ravnsborg once the probe is finished. Boever’s cousin, Nick Nemec, tells the AP that he's been to the crash site on several occasions and "you don’t have to be a rocket scientist" to determine what happened. "I think the attorney general should be charged at the very least with distracted driving. If he was distracted, then you’re getting into the territory of involuntary manslaughter. I think that would be an appropriate charge." (More car crash stories.)

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