SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Attorney General for South Dakota says he had not had any alcohol in the hours before he was involved in a deadly crash.

Family members confirmed to KELOLAND News, 55-year-old Joe Boever of Highmore was killed in the crash.

Boever’s cousin, Victor Nemec, says Boever drove into a ditch along Highway 14 and hit a bale of hay Saturday evening. Boever called Nemec, who gave him a ride back home. Nemec says he planned to take his cousin back out to his truck Sunday morning, but Boever didn’t answer his calls.

In a statement released Monday evening, Jason Ravnsborg outlined his side of the events that led to the deadly crash.

Ravnsborg says he was returning to Pierre after attending the Spink County Lincoln Day Dinner in Redfield Saturday night.

Shortly after leaving Highmore, Ravnsborg says his vehicle hit what he believed was a large animal. He says he stopped to investigate and called 911 to report the crash. He says he used his cell phone flashlight to look around.

Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek also surveyed the area when he arrived, according to Ravnsborg. With his vehicle badly damaged and the nearest tow service needing to travel from Pierre to the scene, Volek offered to let Ravnsborg drive the sheriff’s personal vehicle back to Pierre.

“At no time did either of us suspect that I had been involved in an accident with a person,” Ravnsborg writes in his statement.

Sunday morning, Ravnsborg and his chief of staff drove back to Highmore to return Volek’s vehicle. After getting gas, they stopped at the crash scene.

“As I walked along the shoulder of the road, I discovered the body of Mr. Boever in the grass just off the roadway. My chief of staff and I checked and it was apparent that Mr. Boever was deceased,” Ravnsborg writes.

The attorney general says he immediately drove to Volek’s home to report the discovery. Volek returned to the scene with Ravnsborg, instructed the AG he would handle the investigation and asked Ravnsborg to return to Pierre.

Ravnsborg says he wanted to provide the statement to “try and dispel some of the rumor and innuendo that are being spread in the wake of this tragedy.”

While the statement is on Office of Attorney General letterhead, the message was sent from Ravnsborg’s campaign email address.

Read the full statement below:

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