PIERRE, S.D. (KFSY) -- South Dakota state officials said in a Tuesday afternoon news briefing they would not release details about an ongoing investigation into a fatal car collision involving State Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.
Gov. Kristi Noem and Cabinet Secretary for the South Dakota Dept. of Public Safety Craig Price spoke in the Tuesday briefing.
Ravnsborg struck and killed a man along U.S. Highway 14 near Highmore Saturday night. In a statement released Monday, Ravnsborg said he thought he hit a deer. He said he called 911 and searched the ditch, but did not find anything. Ravnsborg said he found a man's body the next morning when he returned to retrieve his car, which was inoperable from the crash.
Tuesday, Price said the autopsy of the victim, 55-year-old Joseph Boever, is being done in Ramsey County, Minn., because the South Dakota state coroner is currently unavailable. Price said the South Dakota Highway Patrol is leading the investigation, though the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is conducting interviews in the case to avoid conflicts of interest.
When asked whether Ravnsborg will be placed on administrative leave, Gov. Noem said that has not been discussed because it is currently only a crash investigation, not a criminal investigation.
The Rapid City Journal reports Ravnsborg hit Boever after attending a Republican Party event at a restaurant in eastern South Dakota. The event was hosted at Rooster’s Bar and Grill from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., according to the South Dakota GOP's website.
“Alcohol and drug use is always checked” in crashes and the cars are always investigated, a South Dakota Department of Public Safety spokesman said.