Fatal crash details involving SD AG to “be released at appropriate time”, says Governor
PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem along with Secretary of Public Safety Craig Price held a press conference Tuesday releasing few details about the fatal crash involving South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.
The Saturday night crash that left Joseph Boever, 55, of Highmore dead is being investigated primarily by the South Dakota Highway Patrol with assistance from the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Secretary Price says a Wyoming investigator will also be involved.
Price says any information regarding the investigation, like the 911 phone call or transcript, body camera footage, or toxicology reports, “will be released at the appropriate time.” And the report will be released as soon as complete but no specific time frame was given.
Of the investigation so far, Secretary Price says interviews of Ravnsborg and other witnesses are being conducted by state employees from North and South Dakota. The Wyoming investigator will be handling a reconstruction of the crash. Boever’s medical examination took place in Minnesota. The location, Price says, is due to the unavailability of a pathologist in South Dakota.
Governor Noem says Ravnsborg has not been placed on administrative leave as the investigation is not currently classified as criminal and is still a traffic fatality crash investigation. When asked to comment on what his day-to-day duties currently look like, the Governor declined to answer.
Should the investigation turn criminal, the Hyde County State’s Attorney’s office would lead the filing of charges and any working relationship or campaign backing conflicts would be handled “as they come across them,” says Price.
Public concerns over any bias in handling the investigation of the state’s top law enforcement official were also addressed.
“I think its something we take very seriously,” said Price. “We do objective work and I think the process we’re following, I’m confident the process we’re following, were getting the right people at the right places to do the right job and I have a ton of confidence in the work that they’re doing.”
“There is a reason why we brought in BCI from North Dakota,” said Noem. “It is to have that accountability from an outside organization involved in the investigation and also why were are in consultation with a third-party crash-investigative company that will come in and add that kind of accountability that I wanted in this exact situation.”