The 55-year-old victim was found the following day.
The Attorney General of South Dakota reported hitting a deer with his car on Saturday night — but he’d actually killed a pedestrian, investigators say.
Jason Ravnsborg was driving home from a Republican fundraiser in Redfield, a 110 mile journey, along a rural stretch of Highway 14 when he was involved in a collision.
According to a statement by the Department of Public Safety issued on Monday, Ravnsborg informed Hyde County Sheriff’s Office that he’d hit a deer. It was not made clear when he contacted the authorities.
But on Sunday morning, investigators found the body of a 55-year-old man at the scene.
The victim, later identified as Joseph Boever, had crashed his truck earlier on Saturday, AP reported.
According to relatives, he was walking near the roadside toward’s his crippled vehicle, when he was run over.
In a statement of his own the AG said he was “shocked and filled with sorrow” over the incident, but did not get into the details. His office said he thought he’d hit a deer and immediately called 911; they insisted he had not been drinking before the crash.
The DPS statement did not mention the cause of the crash, if speeding was a factor or if charges are pending.
However Ravnsborg does have a history of speeding: in the four years leading up to his election in 2018 he racked up six separate speeding tickets, as well as two other motorist violations, for driving a vehicle without a proper exhaust and muffler system in 2015, and a seat belt violation in 2017, the Argus Leader reported.
The victim’s cousin Nick Nemec confirmed Boever had crashed into a hay bale near the road on Saturday evening; his brother had given him a ride home — about a mile and a half away — before they made plans to make repairs on Sunday.
He said the family were frustrated and suspicious it took almost a day to identify his cousin as the victim.
“I don’t know if cousin Joe was laying on the highway for 22 hours or if they had bagged him up before that,” his cousin said.