SD AG Jason Ravnsborg issues statement regarding fatal accident; AG reported accident, and discovered deceased.

From the South Dakota Attorney General comes a broader statement of what occurred on evening of September 12, most notably that the accident was immediately reported and investigated by law enforcement, who had no reason to question that the accident was anything other than the AG striking a deer, and that the AG was not impaired.

In addition, when returning a borrowed vehicle on Sunday that the Attorney General used to return home, he himself was the one to discover the deceased in the matter.

Hopefully, this will put some of the unfounded rumors to rest. As I’ve said before, please keep everyone involved in your thoughts.

This continues to appear to be a tragic accident, and we owe it to all involved to wait for the facts.

35 thoughts on “SD AG Jason Ravnsborg issues statement regarding fatal accident; AG reported accident, and discovered deceased.”

  1. Not drunk
    Called 911 immediately
    Looked for what was hit
    Sheriff came and accessed the situation
    Sheriff thought he was able to drive home with sheriff vehicle
    Returned vehicle and discovered body and reported it to Sheriff

    And earlier we learned the victim put his vehicle in the ditch and thought he should walk along the road with his back to traffic at 1030 at night?

    Seems like an accident to me

    1. He says he wasn’t drunk – but we’ll never know unless there was blood work done when he reported striking the deer and connected with the sheriff. That bloodwork would have been definitive.

      Also, if he was driving his personal vehicle, as not appearing in a professional capacity at a political fundraiser, why is this statement coming out on his Attorney General letterhead?

    2. “… walk along the road with his back to traffic …”

      Wow, there’s a detail, to my knowledge, not included in the slim releases of confirmed information to date; a detail which might only be known by those closely associated with the ongoing accident reconstruction project. Or perhaps the perp? Or a confidant of the perp?

  2. So, he got to borrow the sheriff’s personal car. Is that just symbolic of South Dakota nice, or a conspiracy, or both?

  3. Sounds like a lot of the fake rumors have been put to bed with this press release. As stated earlier by many, let’s let the investigation run its course. Ravnsborg is an upstanding person and AG who has always been of high moral standards in the past. It sounds like this was simply an unfortunate accident with both parties being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  4. This is good info but why not explain why you thought it was a deer. Even if that explanation is “I didn’t see what I hit and just assumed it was a deer since it was at 10:30 pm at night on a highway in the country.” Is it because he wasn’t driving in his lane? Is it because the guy was walking in the middle of the road? Still leaves some questions to be answered. Bottom line: if your gonna put out a PR, make sure to address all of the issues.

    1. Why would he not think it was a deer? Let’s see, it was dark out. He obviously felt he hit something. Whatever he hit was big enough to cause enough damage to his car to make it difficult to drive. People are not usually walking on the road at 10:30. Deer are notorious for getting hit in this state. Unless there is some compelling reason to not believe him, I believe we should take him at his word and allow the investigation to continue. Once the investigation has been completed, then you can ask any further questions.

  5. I’ve tried to post before but recall the accident in MN when Guardsman Chris Weber hit a woman on a bicycle. It was an accident – he admitted to being distracted. The point here is this – accidents happen even to good people. It doesn’t mean Jason gets a pass just because he’s a good guy. If he crossed on to the shoulder and hit the guy it’s still a tragic accident but he’s also responsible. So while I and we shouldn’t be quick to convict, we should also not be so quick to acquit.

  6. So if the Oh Shucks Sheriff wouldn’t have let him drive his truck, Mr. Boever might still be laying in the ditch? All seems a little too convenient.

    1. Go troll somewhere else, if anything that means the Sherriff thought Ravnsborg was ok to drive and proves he had nothing to drink.

    2. First, sincere condolences to the family. I’m so sorry for your loss. Second, I’ve seen & greeted Jason at dozens of political events. He never drinks. No, I did not attend this particular event, so I’m not a fact witness. Nevertheless, I’d be VERY surprised if Jason were drunk. He simply doesn’t do that. I readily concede: past behavior isn’t ironclad proof, but I’d bet you $1000 he wasn’t drunk. I read his statement and, to me, it rings true. You can claim he was too tired or too distracted. Maybe. I wasn’t in the car, so I’ve no idea. Someone said he should have hired a professional driver. That’s a fair point for discussion. I’m sure he wishes he had. But he never drinks at those events. I’d be shocked – flabbergasted – if it’s alcohol-related. Just a tragic accident, IMHO. Tragic for everyone.

  7. Please refrain from claiming someone is guilty of a crime they haven’t been charged with. Same goes for comments about the victim.

    The facts in the matter are under investigation, and they will all be released in due time.

    (The conspiracy theorists will never be happy, but that goes with the territory.)

    1. No doubt it was an unfortunate accident, but its not the end of the story and it doesn’t mean he gets a pass. It all comes down to where Mr. Boever was hit. Middle of the road or outside the lines? Still an accident either way, but those facts will determine responsibility. If I drift to the shoulder and someone is there walking or biking, it’s on me. Really these things happen all too often — officers get hit while having someone pulled over, runners and bikers get hit by someone who drifts on to the shoulder. And people get charged if those victims were on the shoulder of the road. All speculation at this point, but it’s certainly not ‘End of Story’.

  8. Clearly distracted driving of some sort. Phone? Radio? Food? It could easily happen to any of us. I don’t think he is a bad person, just made a mistake that most do but happened to cost someone their life. If he was looking out his windshield attentively, there is no mistaking a person for a deer. It’s not running out from the side, it’s standing right in front of you and your headlights. In the location, there is no way he wasn’t distracted in some way to not know that.

    1. Not clearly distracted driving. You don’t know what he saw or did not see. You don’t know what he was doing at that time. You don’t know where the victim was at the time of the accident. What I do know is at night it can be difficult to see things at the side of the road, especially if you are concentrating on what is ahead and not on the side. This is a time to let the pieces fall into place and see what is happening.
      What I am guessing is the AG is going to have this pain to live with for the rest of his life. There is also a family that will not have a loved one around the table from now on and will be missed.

      1. Well if he couldn’t tell he hit a person with his vehicle, he wasn’t looking out the windshield. This wasn’t a side impact accident. That won’t disable a vehicle. A deer may hit on the side but people dont. He had the person in his headlights and there is no mistaking that for a deer if you are paying attention. If this person was walking down the middle of the road, we would already know that. That would exonerate him pretty quick but looking at the video of the crash scene puts the victim on the shoulder of the road. It doesn’t look good for the AG.

  9. From the RC Journal:

    “Ravnsborg sent the email at 10:07 p.m. Central Time without the knowledge of his office’s chief of staff/spokesman.

    “I have not seen what you are talking about,” Tim Bormann said Monday evening. “I have not prepared a press release.”

    Bormann — who answered questions earlier Monday about the incident — said Monday night that he’s no longer issuing any statements about it and that Ravnsborg is working with a new spokesman on this issue.”

    So the AG’s Chief of Staff, who is also a lawyer and, according to the statement, was involved in the discovery of the body, had no knowledge of the statement prior to its release? Really?

    1. It would not shock me if they, probably Jason, made the decision that it is prudent to have a level of separation on this matter given that Tim is a witness.

      I think those involved are trying to be as palms up as possible, because they know there are plenty of people out on social media who will make (have been making) ridiculously wild and unfounded accusations and will spin it to their own conclusions.

      1. That very well could be, Pat.

        My question, however, is did Bormann confirm the AG’s version of events in his earlier comments to the press? Maybe he did and I just missed it. I still don’t know why Bormann wouldn’t have been prepared to simply say “Yes, I am aware of the statement and it is accurate.”

  10. I have almost hit 2 people at night who were walking on Highways. One guy was on I229 walking in the middle of the road wearing all black and by the time I came up on him at 65 miles an hour I barely missed him as the light was not good in that spot and it was pitch dark. The second time I was on 2 lane highway on my way to Brandon SD and I was was going through a very dark park of the highway with tons of trees at 12 am and some dude is just strolling down the highway on the yellow line on the shoulder. Highway lanes are incredible narrow and I tend to drive closer to the right vs the left as oncoming traffic tends to drift at times over the centerline. When I came up on this dude, also wearing all black, I had to swerve a little to miss him and glad I had no oncoming traffic as it was an instant reaction. I was alert, not drinking, and not tired and was so close to hitting him I am surprised I did not. This sounds like a horrible “accident” and no real fault and its almost happened to me and probably many of us. I NEVER understand why someone is out walking on highways as there is no sidewalk and especially at night where there is minimal light. It just not safe and if you do please walk in the ditch as a person is so so very hard to see and by the time you do it’s challenging to avoid them. I have no clue but, is it even legal to walk in a Highway. I am not victim blaming but, I just dont get that thought process, seems like a bad idea. Unless facts come out that he was drinking, texting, or exceedly distracted, this will just be a really bad accident and it could happen to anyone. I know its almost happened to me twice.

      1. Yeah as I was able to swerve and miss them so yes I saw them but, a guy on a motorcycle hit the back end of my car as I was driving years back and I thought I ran over something in the road and looked back and didn’t see anything.. It was not until I quite far away that the passenger in my car said I think someone ran into you dude look back at that guy laying in the parking lot with his bike. I was 23 years old at the time on my lunch break but, I literally thought I just hit a chunk of concrete (it was construction) or a cone or something and had NO clue it was a human being on a motorcycle. I Thank God I was only going 20 miles or less an hour as it was a construction zone but, initially I didn’t see anything or feel anything too big to think it was anything other than running something small over based on the sound and feel. The guy broke his leg but, was not terribly injured. I felt awful and cried for hours thinking I hurt someone and it was just an accident. One I felt was his fault but, my insurance paid out, but my guess was due to the threat of court costs etc. Even though he was driving his motorcycle way to close to the back of my car and trying to wedge through the construction I still felt horrible I was even involved in something that hurt someone. These things can and do happen and thats why they are called accidents. People are too quick to judge and so many people have been in car accidents and one where it was your fault but, most are lucky that no one dies or is injured. We are all too quick to judge and lay blame on people because as a society, we are graceless and want to roast someone right away. We dont care about facts, intent, the situation, nothing. We all just want to sit around and start speculating and casting stones this could just be and unfortunate event and the ONLY reason anyone is talking about it is due to the fact its the AG. Public officials are people too but, so many of us forget that anymore.

        1. The thing is, you are attempting to argue for the AG, but what you describe raises more questions too. Most notably: you know it was a person. I still can’t get over the “I thought I hit a deer” bit.

          Maybe the AG didn’t do anything wrong here. If the statement released is true, he took some smart (calling from the scene when it first happened) and not so smart (left the scene to go to LEO’s house). The thing that continues to bug me more than anything is the mistaking a person for a deer.

            1. I think that is why he is going to get charged with distracted driving at the very least. You can’t wreck your vehicle beyond being able to drive away by hitting a pedestrian head on without knowing what you hit. Even when approaching a human on a dark roadway, there is no mistaking it for a deer even if you only see it for a split second. He was not paying attention for some reason or he knew what he hit and is lying.

            2. And you know he is lying how?? You must be a jealous hater of Ravnsborg.

              I agree with it was dark out and I remember as a kid always being told by my mom to wear light reflective clothing and carry a flashlight if out at dark.

              Also, why didn’t the guy see a car coming?? We all know we are supposed to walk towards oncoming traffic, as he may have been on the wrong side of the road which did not help the situations? Only the investigation will tell.

              One last thought, why is the guy out at 10:30 at night anyways, seems off there as well???

              1. Because “You can’t wreck your vehicle beyond being able to drive away by hitting a pedestrian head on without knowing what you hit.”

          1. Yeah I truly dont know and I am not trying to argue for or against the AG. I just know from personal experience I didn’t even know a person on a motorcycle came in contact with my car as I thought I ran over something in the construction zone on the road. I have no clue which is why I am waiting for evidence but, I am trying to say lets wait and see before we rush to judgement. People do stupid things, even during accidents, like say its a deer because they may be scared. I am just trying to say lets not judge and this could just be a terrible accident that could happen to any of us. All we can do is pray for him and the victims family because when this is all said and done two families lives have been forever changed and that is what we should focus on. The blame game and Monday morning Quarterbacking from everyone gets a little old.

  11. OK, next questions.

    Merlin Voorhees appears to be the State’s Attorney of Hyde County. Is he the person who gets the HP report? Because its the AG involved and local Sheriff missed the victim and loaned a car to the AG, will the SA have a conflict? Should a special prosecutor be appointed to evaluate the report and make recommendations? If so, who would appoint them? Remember in the Janklow accident, the Moody SA hired a deputy from Watertown to help with that case – Roger Ellyson. Lots of questions – but the local SA needs to make sure this is handled transparently and fairly.

    1. How about Mike Moore of Huron?, he is a Democrat, but well respected among States Attorneys and he has tried cases all over the state and I checked did not endorse Ravnsborg

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