PIERRE, SD – South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg said he was confident he did not commit a crime when he beat and killed a man while driving on a dark highway in September.
It is the first time Ravnsborg has spoken publicly about the crash that killed 55-year-old Joseph Boever on Highway 14 near Highmore. Previously, he made a statement.
An investigation into death is ongoing. Investigators are working with the Hyde County Attorney’s Office to determine if charges are warranted.
“I don’t think I committed a crime. I believe if we have all the facts, not a selected set of facts, we will know the full story and make a full statement, ”he told reporters this week.
Secretary of State for Public Safety, Craig Price, said Ravnsborg was distracted when he drove onto a highway shoulder where he hit and killed Boever. Price did not describe what caused Ravnsborg to be distracted.
Boever was walking along the side of the road showing some sort of light on the night of September 12 when Ravnsborg’s 2011 Ford Taurus hit him, Price said.
Ravnsborg called 911 that evening and told a dispatcher that he had hit “something” and that “it was in the middle of the street”. When the dispatcher asked if it could have been a deer, Ravnsborg first said, “I have no idea,” before adding, “It could be.”
Boever’s relatives believe he approached his truck, which crashed earlier that evening.
Ravnsborg found Boever’s body the next day when he was returning the Hyde County sheriff’s personal vehicle that he had used on Saturday night to complete the drive back to Pierre after the accident.
The attorney general was driving home from a Republican fundraiser in Redfield, about 180 kilometers away. Ravnsborg said he had nothing to drink.
A toxicological report made about 15 hours after the crash showed no alcohol in Ravnsborg’s system, although at least one expert said there would have been enough time to remove alcohol from his body.
A Wyoming crash reconstruction expert and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation assisted the South Dakota Highway Patrol in the investigation.