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South Dakota Attorney General fatal car crash: ‘I thought I hit a deer’

Jason Ravnsborg fatal car crash
Jason Ravnsborg fatal car crash. Pictured, & South Dakota Attorney General.
Jason Ravnsborg fatal car crash
Jason Ravnsborg fatal car crash. Pictured, Joseph Boever (left) & South Dakota Attorney General.

Cover up? Jason Ravnsborg South Dakota Attorney General fatal crash leads to AG saying he thought he hit a deer, instead he hit & killed, Joseph ‘Joe’ Boever. History of speeding infractions and admission he does drink. 

South Dakota‘s Attorney General is being investigated over a fatal car crash, after reportedly hitting a deer Saturday night, only to find a pedestrian’s body upon returning to the scene the following morning. 

Jason Ravnsborg, 44, of Pierre, told police he had hit a deer while driving home from a fundraising event for the Republican Party on Saturday night.

Upon returning to survey the scene, Sunday morning, he found the body of Joseph ‘Joe’ Boever, 55 of Highmore.

Boever’s family have expressed fears of a possible hit-and-run cover-up.

They say they were not contacted by investigators to identify Mr Boever’s body until almost 22 hours after it was discovered.

Was Attorney General distracted? 

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety said the investigation would be handled ‘as we would any other fatal crash’.

Ravnsborg said he didn’t realize he hit a person until he returned to the scene Sunday morning to check for debris NPR reports. It was there that Boever’s body was found. Boever’s family members say he had earlier crashed his truck into a hay bale near where he was fatally struck.

Boever’s cousin Nick Nemec told South Dakota Public Broadcasting he suspects Ravnsborg must have been distracted if he was unclear that he hit a human instead of a deer.

Mr Ravnsborg said in a statement on Monday that he had called police immediately after the incident on a rural stretch of US Highway 14 along Hudson County late on Saturday.

History of speeding infractions

He said he stopped and used the flashlight on his phone to look around his vehicle in the dark, but saw nothing other than damage to his car and believed he had hit a large animal.

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.

Of note, the Argus-Leader reported that the AG has been cited for speeding six times between 2014 and 2018.  He pleaded guilty to all of them and paid fines ranging from $19 to $79.

He also received tickets for a seat belt violation and for driving a vehicle without a proper exhaust and muffler system.

Authorities didn’t say whether they believe speed contributed to the fatal crash.

The speeding infractions occurred prior to Ravnsborg being sworn in as the 31st Attorney General of South Dakota in 2019. He was a partner in a law firm and a deputy state’s attorney before becoming Attorney General.

The Attorney General’s office co-operating with the investigation, while Ravnsborg personally offered his ‘deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Mr Boever’.