PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem says she knows there are a lot of questions regarding the involvement of South Dakota’s Attorney General in a deadly crash over the weekend.
In a lengthy statement released Monday night, Jason Ravnsborg says he was returning to Pierre after attending the Spink County Lincoln Day Dinner in Redfield Saturday night when his car hit what he believed was a large animal. He says he stopped to investigate and used his cell phone to look around but didn’t see anything suspicious.
Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek also surveyed the area when he arrived, according to Ravnsborg.
“At no time did either of us suspect that I had been involved in an accident with a person,” Ravnsborg wrote in his statement.
It wasn’t until he returned to the crash scene Sunday morning that Ravnsborg discovered the body of Joe Boever of Highmore in the ditch.
On Tuesday afternoon, the head of South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety Col. Craig Price gave an update on the status of the investigation.
Price says the medical examination of the victim is being completed in Ramsey County in Minnesota because South Dakota’s chief medical examiner is out of the state.
While the S.D. Highway Patrol is leading the investigation, investigators from North Dakota are helping compile interviews. Price says with traffic crash investigations, his office would normally ask the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation to get involved. But because the Attorney General oversees that department, the state asked North Dakota officials to get involved and assist with the investigation.
Asked about making 911 phone calls public, he said they will be released at the appropriate time.
As for whether Ravnsborg will be placed on administrative leave during the investigation, Noem says it hasn’t been discussed.
Price stressed that at this point it is a traffic crash investigation, not a criminal investigation.