Lawyer Common was distracted when he struck, killed pedestrian

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Attorney General was distracted when he struck, killed pedestrian

To update: The investigation into a fatal crash involving Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg is largely complete, authorities said on Monday.

Public Safety Sec. Craig Price told reporters he would post an accident report and photo of Ravnsborg’s vehicle on Monday morning.

The crash report, Price said, shows that Ravnsborg was distracted at the time of the crash. It also shows that the victim, 55-year-old Joseph Boever, was out on the road at the time of the impact.

Governor Kristi Noem declined to comment on whether Ravnsborg should step down and said she would not comment until the investigation is over. The investigation will now be referred to the Hyde County Attorney’s Office for any charges to be investigated.

The report had not been published on the Ministry of Public Security’s website by 11:15 a.m.

This is a developing story. Check for updates again.

Previous story: Governor Kristi Noem is expected to update Monday on the state of investigations into a fatal crash involving Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

On September 12, Ravnsborg was traveling west on Highway 14 when he hit and killed a pedestrian, 55-year-old Joseph Boever of Highmore. It was not until the morning of September 13 that Ravnsborg discovered the body when he drove past the construction site to return a car he had borrowed. At the time, few details were given to the public about what happened during and after the crash.

About a month later, Noem and Public Safety became Sec. Craig Price provided an update releasing some details, including audio and a transcript of the Ravnsborg 911 call saying he hit “something” in the middle of the street but didn’t know what it was. State officials did not say when the call came.

At the same time, the authorities released toxicological reports for Ravnsborg, which showed that he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. They also disclosed the cause of Boever’s death, which they listed as traumatic injuries from a pedestrian and motor vehicle accident.

In this February 24, 2014 photo dated Jason Ravnsborg, a Yankton attorney and Major in the Army Reserves, speaks about his campaign in the US Senate in Sioux Falls.  SD Ravnsborg is one of five Republicans seeking the seat of Senator Tim Johnson.  On Wednesday, March 26, 2014, Secretary of State Jason Gant approved nominations from five Republicans, one Democrat and one Independent.  (AP Photo / Dirk Lammers)

Two days after the accident, Ravnsborg published a two-page statement detailing his report on the crash, including:

  • Ravnsborg believed it had struck a deer.
  • Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek responded to the crash.
  • The two men could not find the stag that Ravnsborg thought it was striking.
  • Ravnsborg borrowed Volek’s car.
  • Ravnsborg found Boever’s body the next morning when he came back to bring the car back to Volek.

Authorities have confirmed that Ravnsborg said he hit a deer, although on the emergency audio it is the dispatcher asking Ravnsborg if he hit a deer, to which he replies, “I have no idea.”

Officials have yet to validate most of Ravnsborg’s account.

It is unclear whether Noem will announce the completion of the investigation on Monday. The governor has promised a higher level of transparency with this investigation, since it is an official.

Follow reporter Joe Sneve for live updates during the press conference scheduled for 11 p.m. CST.