Cousins of man killed in accident involving South Dakota's AG share concerns over investigation
More details emerged on Monday about a Saturday night car crash involving South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R).
During an impromptu press conference on Sunday night, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) announced that Ravnsborg had been involved in a fatal car accident near Highmore. She did not share any additional information. Almost immediately, Ravnsborg's office released a statement saying he was uninjured in the crash and was cooperating with the investigation.
On Monday, state investigators with the Department of Public Safety said Ravnsborg reported that he struck a deer with his 2011 Ford Taurus on Saturday night, but he had actually hit a man, whose body was found on Sunday. Ravnsborg's office said he called 911 after the accident, but state investigators did not reveal whether he reported the crash via 911. The accident took place as Ravnsborg drove home from a dinner hosted by the Spink County Republicans.
The victim has been identified as Joseph Boever, 56. His cousin, Victor Nemec, told KELO-TV that earlier Saturday, Boever had crashed his truck into a hay bale near Highway 14, and planned on fixing it Sunday. Nemec doesn't think Ravnsborg called 911, because no sirens were heard leaving Highmore on Saturday night.
On Sunday morning, Nemec wasn't able to get in touch with Boever, and when he drove by the spot where his cousin left his truck and saw police officers and emergency vehicles, he called authorities looking for information. Victor and his brother, Nick Nemec, were asked to identify Boever's body later that night. "My worst fear is that they're trying to get ducks in a row to absolve the attorney general of any wrongdoing," Nick told KELO-TV. He added that it was upsetting to think that the body may have been out there overnight, as the family doesn't "know if cousin Joe was laying on the highway for 22 hours or if they had bagged him up before that." The Department of Public Safety said the investigation is ongoing.