South Dakota AG thought he hit deer when he fatally struck man on highway: cops

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg thought he hit a deer when he fatally struck a pedestrian on a highway over the weekend, authorities said Monday.

Jason Ravnsborg, 44, told the Hyde County Sheriff’s Office he thought he struck a deer when he hit Joseph Boever, 55, of Highmore, at about 10:30 PM Saturday on US Highway 14 west of Highmore, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety said.

Ravnsborg, of Pierre, was driving a 2011 Ford Taurus at the time and was not injured. Boever’s body was discovered Sunday morning, authorities said.

“South Dakota’s Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash,” DPS said in a statement obtained by The Post. “All information remains preliminary at this point.”

Ravnsborg, a Republican who was elected in 2018, was driving home to Pierre after attending a GOP fundraiser in Redfield, spokesman Tim Bormann told the Rapid City Journal.

The event, according to the South Dakota GOP’s website, was held at Rooster’s Bar and Grill in Redfield, where those in attendance could buy tickets to win a handgun engraved with President Trump’s name.

Bormann said in a statement Monday that Ravnsborg drinks occasionally, but he was not imbibing prior to the fatal crash.

Ravnsborg was driving alone at the time and called 911 “right after the accident,” Bormann told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

“My understanding is that he called from the location of his vehicle,” Bormann wrote the newspaper in an email.

Ravnsborg had received six traffic tickets for speeding in South Dakota in the last six years. He also received citations for a seat belt violation and driving without a proper exhaust and muffled system, the Associated Press reports.

Gov. Kristi Noem told reporters of the fatal accident during a news conference Sunday.

“Law enforcement is working on identifying the deceased and notifying the family,” Noem said during the three-minute briefing.

Additional details, including whether alcohol factored into the crash or if charges against Ravnsborg were pending, were not released as of Monday afternoon by the Department of Public Safety.

“With any fatal crash investigation, we do consider the possibility of alcohol,” DPS spokesman Tony Mangan told The Post in an email. “As always testing will be done.”

Boever’s cousin, meanwhile, said the pair were planning on fixing Boever’s white Ford pickup truck early Sunday, but he decided to start walking to his vehicle instead. Boever was then fatally struck as he walked along Highway 14, Victor Nemec told the Argus Leader.

“The attorney general hit my cousin as he was walking down the side of the road and killed him,” Nemec told the newspaper.

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