South Dakota AG Was ‘Distracted’ Before He Struck, Killed a Pedestrian, Officials Say

Officials say South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was “distracted” when he fatally hit a pedestrian back in September.

What We Know:

  • On September 12, Ravnsborg struck and killed 55-year-old victim Joseph Boever as he carried a light walking along the side of the road. At first, the attorney general believed he hit a deer and called 911 to report it. That same night he searched a ditch with police for the deer; they discovered Boever’s body the next morning instead.
  • On Monday, South Dakota Department of Public Safety Secretary Craig Price told reporters that the crash report revealed Ravnsborg’s was distracted at the time of the accident. The cause of his distraction remains under investigation. Although, the report did disclose Boever was not guilty of any “contributing circumstances” when the vehicle hit him.
  • Ravnsborg was returning home from an event on the night of the fatal crash. He claims he did not consume any alcohol. Witnesses have backed the attorney general saying they did not see him drinking at the event. Blood samples showed Ravnsborg’s blood alcohol content to be at zero 15 hours after the collision. However, Price takes into account that the body only requires 6 hours to restore BAC levels from the legal limit of 0.08 back to zero.
  • During the Monday conference, Price was reluctant to release details about the investigation. He would not divulge the type of light Boever was carrying, whether or not he was walking towards or away from traffic, how fast Ravnsborg was driving, or how authorities could be confident in the fact that there indeed was a distraction even though they cannot confirm what type it was. He says, “the specifics behind that [‘detailed investigative work’] would be inappropriate to release at this time.”
  • The investigative details will be in the hands of Hyde County deputy state’s attorney in Highmore Emily Sovell. She will decide whether or not Ravnsborg will be charged with any crimes.

Boever’s cousin Nick Nemec believes the attorney general should at least suffers charges of distracted driving. He goes on to say if Ravnsborg was distracted then an involuntary manslaughter charge would also be appropriate.

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