HIGHMORE, S.D. (KELO) — We are learning more about what happened leading up to a deadly crash involving South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.
Authorities say Ravnsborg called the Hyde County Sheriff on Saturday night, but no one discovered Joe Boever’s body until Sunday morning.
KELOLAND News spoke with three members of the victim’s family.
Ravnsborg was driving down this stretch of road when he hit something. He told the Hyde County Sheriff’s office he thought it was a deer.
Joe Boever’s cousin Victor Nemec says Boever drove into a ditch on that same stretch of road and hit a bale of hay early Saturday night. Boever called Victor, who gave him a ride back home.
“The next morning, I called him a couple of times, didn’t get any answer on his cell phone, so I decided to drive into town and stop at his house,” Victor Nemec said.
He couldn’t find Boever, and reported him as missing. He eventually received a call to identify a body.
“There was still highway patrolmen parked by my cousin’s pickup, and we asked them if we could come and get the pickup the following day, and they said no, it was going to be taken into Pierre for the investigation, and we informed the Highway Patrol then that the pickup really didn’t have anything to do with the accident, and they just acted kind of dead-faced and said they had to take it into Pierre,” Victor Nemec said.
Boever’s cousin Nick Nemec also identified the body.
“By the time we identified the body it was 22 hours after the accident, 10 hours after my brother had first given them heads up that the pickup a half mile past the accident site was my cousin’s, and we can’t find him anyplace, and it just seems like the whole process was just put on the back burner, and they could have got Victor up there a heck of a lot sooner to take a statement or identify a body or something,” Nick Nemec said.
Boever’s wife also has concerns.
“How can you not see someone walking down the road, and for no sirens to go off around here is highly unusual, because anytime there’s an accident or anything (there are sirens),” Joe Boever’s wife Jennifer Boever said.
“Why did my husband lie in a ditch for 22 hours,” Jennifer Boever said. “Why were no alarms sounded off over here when the accident happened. I mean, we have no answers yet. And right now I’m just raw and numb. I just lost the man of my life.”
We reached out to Ravnsborg on Monday, but haven’t heard back. He released a statement about the crash on Sunday: “I am shocked and filled with sorrow following the events of last night. As Governor Noem stated, I am fully cooperating with the investigation and I fully intend to continue do so moving forward. At this time I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family.”