The South Dakota Attorney General reported Saturday night that he had hit a deer, but it actually turned out he hit a man and killed him.
Jason Ravnsborg, 44, got into a car accident around 10:30 pm while driving home from a Republican fundraiser in Redfield. He reported it to the local county sheriff, claiming that he hit a deer.
But by the next morning, the body of 55-year-old Joseph Boever had been discovered near the crash site, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety said. Ravnsborg was not injured in the accident.
Boever’s cousin Nick Nemec said it took investigators nearly 22 hours to identify his body.
“My worst fear is that they’re trying to get ducks in a row to absolve the attorney general of any wrongdoing,” Nemec told Keloland.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem confirmed Ravnsborg was involved in the fatal crash and announced the Department of Public Safety is investigating.
“This is a tragic accident, and the Office of the Attorney General extends our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Mr. Boever,” Ravnsborg’s chief of staff, Tim Bormann, said in a statement to POLITICO. “The Attorney General, and our office, are cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation of this event and will continue to do so.”
Bormann said the attorney general had been at a fundraising dinner hosted by the Spink County Republicans at Rooster’s Bar & Grill.
State Sen. Brock Greenfield was also at the Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser and told the Associated Press that Ravnsborg was not drinking alcohol at the event, saying, “I didn’t see him with anything but a Coke.”
“I am shocked and filled with sorrow following the events of last night,” Ravnsborg said in a statement. “As Governor Noem stated, I am fully cooperating with the investigation, and I fully intend to continue to do so moving forward. At this time, I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family.”
The investigation into Ravnsborg’s crash is ongoing.