AG impeachment committee grills law enforcement on investigation merits

Investigators reconstruct the scene of a fatal crash involving S.D. Atty. Gen. Jason Ravnsborg
Investigators reconstruct the scene of a fatal crash involving S.D. Atty. Gen. Jason Ravnsborg(Dakota News Now)
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 10:06 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. - Law enforcement officers involved in the investigation into the crash that killed Joe Boever were grilled for several hours Tuesday about what happened that September 12th, 2020 night.

But much of the discussion also had to do with the mechanics of the investigation, and how it was conducted.

“When we were working through the information to publicly post through the process, we would have been in touch with many people,” said Department of Public Safety (DPS) Secretary Craig Price, in regards to a question about who was consulted when certain documents were made public. “(Including) legal counsel, my supervisor (the Governor), and many others relevant to the investigation.”

It is the first time that the public has had access to these hearings since November, after they met in executive session through their last three meetings, including one Monday to redact certain documents.

“For some reason, the driver (Ravnsborg) was distracted, and was driving on the shoulder,” said John Daily of Jackson Hole Scientific Investigations. “That also was important to me because if he had been driving in his lane the crash never would have happened.”

Lawmakers on the committee questioned how investigators came to the conclusions they did in the investigation. Specifically, where Joe Boever was initially hit.

Committee members pointed to a supplemental crash report, which has yet to be made public, that suggests that Boever may have been hit closer to the road.

But, each member of law enforcement who came before lawmakers delivered the same message, that they were essentially positive that Ravnsborg struck Boever on the shoulder of the road.

“It was not only on the shoulder, but both the left and right sets of tires crossed the rubble strip,” said South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper John Berndt, who was in charge of recreating the scene. “I would say that I am 100% certain about that.”

The committee will meet Wednesday at 3:30 PM to further discuss the matter and hear more testimony.

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