South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg investigated over fatal vehicle crash

Jason Ravnsborg

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R) told the Hyde County Sheriff's Office that he hit a deer on Saturday night, but it turned out to be a man, according to the Department of Public Safety in a Rapid City Journal report.

Jason Ravnsborg said in a lengthy statement Monday night that he was driving home the morning after the accident and made a decision to search the area for the deer he initially claimed he hit.

But he returned to the scene on Sunday to find the body of Joseph Boever, 55.

The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting the state highway patrol in the investigation because of conflicts created by Ravnsborg's oversight of the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.

Ravnsborg's chief of staff Timothy Bormann called the episode "a tragic accident" in a statement released Monday.

An investigation has been launched and will be overseen by Cabinet Secretary for the South Dakota Department of Public Safety Craig Price.

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"I didn't see what I hit and stopped my vehicle immediately to investigate", Ravnsborg said, according to the paper. Volek offered to lend his personal vehicle to Ravnsborg so that he could get home, the attorney general said.

Ravnsborg said he was driving from a Republican fundraiser in Redfield to his home some 110 miles (177 kilometers) away when his vehicle hit something he believed to be a large animal.

"A deer doesn't look like a human", Boever's cousin, Victor, told the Rapid City Journal.

Following Noem's press conference, Ravnsborg's office released a statement saying he is "shocked and filled with sorrow following the events of last night". According to the Argus Leader, Ravnsborg has a history of speeding and other minor traffic violations. "The pedestrian's body was discovered Sunday morning".

Boever had phoned his cousin Victor on Saturday morning after he crashed his truck into the hale bale. Nearly immediately, Ravnsborg's office released a statement saying he was uninjured in the crash and was cooperating with the investigation.

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