At 10:30 PM on Saturday, September 13, South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg hit and killed a man with his car while returning home from a Republican fundraiser.
Just after hitting the man, Ravnsborg called in and reported hitting a deer with his car.
BREAKING: The South Dakota Attorney General reported hitting a deer Saturday night but had actually hit and killed… https://t.co/FPmzAIRLcD— Arielle Zionts (@Arielle Zionts) 1600100065.0
The next day, however, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem held a press conference where she announced Ravnsborg was under investigation for striking and killing 55-year-old Joseph Boever of Highmore.
The South Dakota Department of Public Safety issued a statement saying that Ravnsborg called the Hyde County Sheriff's Office to report he had hit a deer, but didn't clarify whether or not he had exited his car to confirm that it was only a deer.
@nprpolitics Who doesn't get out and check what they hit with their car? Like seriously...— EnchantedChaos 🇺🇸 💪 🌊 (@EnchantedChaos 🇺🇸 💪 🌊) 1600188259.0
Another day in the totally normal South Dakota state government. https://t.co/OJzJA1dqFw— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@Rachel Maddow MSNBC) 1600105171.0
Meanwhile, Boever's family is skeptical of the details of Ravnsborg's story. Many of them became suspicious when it took 22 hours to identify his body.
The victim's cousin, Nick Nemec, also noted:
"A deer doesn't look like a human."
@nprpolitics At a Republican fundraiser at a bar called "Roosters." He was there for somewhere between 4 and 6 hour… https://t.co/AknhhM98ca— SJV (@SJV) 1600188702.0
According to the Boevers, Joseph was likely walking along the road at night to make repairs on his own truck, which had crashed into a nearby bale of hay earlier that day.
I want to know that, for sure,but what about the victim & his family??? WHY are we seeing nothing about who Ravnsbo… https://t.co/MDbeoWWQrY— Phoenixwmn (@Phoenixwmn) 1600181400.0
Ravnsborg claims he did not know he hit a man until Boever's body was discovered the next morning. He said in a statement:
"I am shocked and filled with sorrow following the events of last night. As Governor Noem stated, I am fully cooperating with the investigation and fully intend to continue to do so moving forward. At this time I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family."
Investigators have not stated whether they believe alcohol or poor driving were factors in the crash but Ravnsborg claims to have not been drinking at the Republican fundraiser earlier that evening.
@cnnbrk There’s only one appropriate reaction to this. https://t.co/fW1Qr1edAV— Kevin Fry (1-0) (@Kevin Fry (1-0)) 1600122419.0
The Attorney General does have a history of speeding violations, however. Between 2014 and 2018, he was issued six speeding tickets, as well as a "seat belt violation" and a citation for driving without a proper muffler. He pled guilty and paid fines in all of these cases.
South Dakota AG Jason Ravnsborg had six speeding infractions between 2014 and 2018. https://t.co/jjqe77P8w6— ArgusLeader911 (@ArgusLeader911) 1600099994.0
Investigations are ongoing and will surely have dramatic political consequences if the Attorney General is found to be at fault in Boever's death.