Lawyer representing Boever’s widow: “the family deserves answers to what happened that night”
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Scott Heidepriem, a prominent South Dakota lawyer and former State Senator, will be representing the widow of Joseph Boever in a wrongful death lawsuit against Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.
Boever was walking along the shoulder of Highway 14 near Highmore when he was struck and killed by Ravnsborg, who was driving at 67 mph and was out of his driving lane. Hyde County Deputy State’s Attorney Emily Sovell and Beadle County State’s Attorney Michael Moore say it is unclear how long or why Ravnsborg’s vehicle was outside of the lane.
Ravnsborg said at first he thought he’d hit an animal, but found Boever’s body the next day when he returned to the scene. In a statement released after the crash, Ravnsborg stated that at no point did he or Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek, who responded to the scene, believe that the collision was with a person.
“The family deserves answers to what happened that night. The Attorney General should be held accountable for his actions, just like anyone else,” Heidepriem wrote in a statement to NewsCenter1.
Gov. Kristi Noem reacted to Sovell’s decision on Twitter; Noem previously expressed criticism for the length of time the investigation was taking, saying that it is “a great disservice to the victim’s family.”
My heart goes out to Joseph Boever’s family. I am not going to comment on the specifics of Ms. Sovell’s decision. I am directing the Department of Public Safety to share additional details of the investigation with the public within the next week.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) February 18, 2021
Ravnsborg faces three misdemeanor charges: operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile or electronic device, violation of lane driving, and careless driving. Each is a class two misdemeanor, punishable up to 30 days imprisonment in a county jail, a $500 fine, or both. He was charged by complaint and is expected to be given a summons to appear in court. Prosecutors say a special judge will likely be appointed to handle the case.
Heidepriem says that the suit has not been filed yet, but will be soon.