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Ravnsborg was ‘distracted’ prior to fatal crash, officials say

Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 9:57 AM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - UPDATE 10:50 a.m. Nov. 2

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was distracted, and driving on the shoulder of the road before hitting Joe Beover, according to Monday’s update on the fatal crash.

Dept. of Public Safety Secretary Craig Pierce said the “nature of the distraction” won’t be released Monday, however, Ravnsborg was distracted.

“Generally, speaking there are things certain things that are against the law to do in your vehicle to take your attention off the road. There’s also a lot of things you do in your vehicle that are not against the law. An example of something that would be against the law is we all know that you cannot text while driving…”

The crash report shows Ravnsborg’s car driving on the north shoulder heading westbound on U.S. Highway 14. Beover, 55, of Highmore was walking on the shoulder of the road when he was struck, said Price. Before, Ravnsborg said he hit something that was in “the middle of the road” during a call with a 911 dispatcher.

Full crash report here.

The crash report shows Ravnsborg’s car driving on the north shoulder heading westbound on U.S....
The crash report shows Ravnsborg’s car driving on the north shoulder heading westbound on U.S. Highway 14. Beover, 55, of Highmore was walking on the shoulder of the road when he was struck.(SD Highway Patrol)

The final report is being finalized and will be given to the Hyde County States Attorney to determine charges.

Gov. Kristi Noem said she will not express personal opinion or take action until Ravnsborg is charged.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

State officials say an update on the on-going investigation of the fatal crash involving South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg will happen Monday.

Gov. Kristi Noem and Dept. of Public Safety Secretary Craig Price will discuss the investigation in a media briefing Monday at 10 a.m. MST, according to a release from Noem’s office sent out Sunday.

The crash took place the night of Sept. 12 on Highway 14 just west of Highmore. Ravnsborg was driving to Pierre following a GOP event in Redfield when he struck and killed 55-year-old Joseph Boever, who was walking along the road. Boever’s body was not found until the next day when Ravnsborg went to retrieve his car, which had been rendered inoperable by the crash.

The state initially released few details about the incident. Ravnsborg released a statement two days after the crash, saying he did not consume any alcohol at the GOP dinner, and that he believed he had struck a deer that night.

About a month later, Price released Ravnsborg’s blood alcohol content report, as well as the 911 call Ravnsborg made after the crash. Price said Ravnsborg had no alcohol in his system when he gave a blood sample on Sept. 13, 15 hours after the crash. In the 911 call, Ravnsborg told authorities he hit something that was “in the middle of the road,” though he was not certain what it was.

Watch the briefing here.

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