The bizarre story of a fatal crash involving South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has taken another odd turn, as Ravnsborg admitted in a lengthy statement that he was the person to discover the body of a man when he returned to the crash site — purportedly still believing he had hit a deer.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Ravnsborg told the Hyde County Sheriff’s Office that he hit a deer on Saturday night while he was driving on a remote stretch of U.S. Highway 14, somewhere between his home in Pierre and the location of a Republican fundraiser, reportedly 110 miles from where he lives.
The details of the initial crash report remain unclear: While Ravnsborg said he called 911 to report hitting a deer, the Department of Public Safety declined to confirm this detail to CBS News, saying the incident was still under investigation.
Early reports were vague about how authorities determined Ravnsborg actually struck and killed a man, identified as 55-year-old Joe Boever, saying only that Boever’s body was found the next morning.
But in Ravnsborg’s lengthy statement, obtained by Inforum, the attorney general said that he discovered the man’s body the next day, when he drove past the crash site and “stopped to see if the animal that I thought I hit was in the ditch.”
“As I walked along the shoulder of the road I discovered the body of Mr. Boever in the grass just off the roadway. My chief of staff and I checked and it was apparent that Mr. Boever was deceased. I immediately drove to [Hyde County] Sheriff Volek’s home to report the discovery and he accompanied me back to the scene. Once there, the Sheriff instructed me that he would handle the investigation, and asked me to return to Pierre.”
Ravnsborg said in the statement that Sheriff Mike Volek had been to the crash site the night before, after the attorney general reported the incident.
“When Sheriff Volek arrived at the scene he asked me if I was o.k. and surveyed the damage at the scene and to my vehicle. Sheriff Volek filled out the necessary paperwork to properly report the accident and gave me the tag that is required to get my vehicle repaired,” the statement reads.
“At no time did either of us suspect that I had been involved in an accident with a person.”
Ravnsborg also said that the sheriff gave him his personal vehicle to drive home, rather than have the attorney general wait “well over an hour” before the tow truck arrived. According to the statement, the sheriff lives a short distance away from the crash site, and Ravnsborg was on his way to return the sheriff’s vehicle, apparently followed by his chief of staff, when he saw the accident debris on the road and stopped to investigate further.
South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg reported hitting a deer Saturday night, but was in fact involved in a fatal car crash whose victim was discovered the following morninghttps://t.co/Szffax08Eu
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) September 14, 2020
The attorney general said that he had not consumed any alcohol the night of the accident, and that he would not be answering any questions about the incident while the investigation continues.
Boever’s nephew Nick Nemec told CBS that his uncle had crashed his truck into a hay bale on Saturday night, and Nemec’s brother picked Boever up from the scene and drove him to his home about 1.5 miles away. The two made plans to have the truck repaired on Sunday, Nemec told the news station. It is unclear when or why Boever returned to the truck on Saturday night.
According to the CBS report, Ravnsborg has received six speeding citations during the last six years.
Read the full statement here:
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
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