'I hit something!' Authorities release 911 call made by shaken South Dakota AG Jason Ravnsborg seconds after he struck and killed a 55-year-old man who was walking along a highway
Authorities have released audio of the 911 call made bySouth Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg moments after he hit and killed a man while driving on a rural road near Highmore on September 12.
Ravnsborg, 44, was driving home from a Republican Party fundraising event around 10.30 pm when he struck Joe Boever, 55, who was walking along the roadway in the dark.
Audio of the 911 call, made public on Tuesday, features a shaken-sounding Ravnsborg telling the dispatcher that he is unsure of what he had just hit.
'911. This is Ally. How can I help you?' the operator asks at the beginning of the two-minute call.
'Ally. This… well… Ally, I'm the Attorney General. And I am… I don't know… I hit something,' Ravnsborg replies.
'Are you injured at all?' Ally then asks the high-powered politician, to which he responds: 'I am not, but my car sure as hell is... it sure hit me, smashed my windshield'.
When quizzed as to whether he had hit a deer, Ravnsborg then states: 'I have no idea'.
The operator goes on to tell the AG that a local sheriff would be dispatched to the scene.
Late last month,Boever's cousin Victor Nemec spoke with DailyMailTV, stating that he was unsure as to why his relative was out on the road at the time the AG hit him.
Boever had accidentally driven his own truck into a ditch on the same road earlier that day, and it has been theorized that he may have been going to retrieve items from that vehicle.
Nemec told DailyMailTV that he does not expect the investigation into his cousin's death to be transparent.
'Jason Ravnsborg is a coward for how he's acted since killing my cousin. I think his first reaction to the situation was how to save his own a**. Instead of telling us what really happened. He needed to do the right thing even if it's going to hurt his career.
'I believe this state is going to try to cover this up as much as possible.'
However, Ravsnborg insists that the had no idea he struck Boever - a tragic fact he says he did not learn until the following day.
After Ravsnborg made the 911 call shortly after the crash,Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek was dispatched to the scene.
Believing that Ravnsborg had hit a deer, Volek loaned the politician his personal car to drive home.
'At no time did either of us suspect that I had been involved in an accident with a person,' Ravnsborg wrote in a subsequent statement.
Because Ravnsborg's car was too damaged to drive and a tow truck would take over an hour to arrive, Volek offered to let the attorney general take his personal car back to his home in Pierre.
The following morning Ravnsborg and his chief of staff made the trip back to Highmore to return Volek's vehicle.
The pair stopped at the crash site on their way and discovered a man's body in the grass near the roadway.
'My chief of staff and I checked and it was apparent that Mr. Boever was deceased,' Ravnsborg wrote.
'I immediately drove to Sheriff Volek's home to report the discovery and he accompanied me back to the scene.
'Once there, the sheriff instructed me that he would handle the investigation, and asked me to return to Pierre.'
Ravnsborg has a history of speeding tickets and traffic violations.
Documents reveal Ravnsborg has received eight speeding tickets, six between 2014 and 2018 in South Dakota, and two in Iowa
He also has received two violations, including one for not wearing a seat belt and another for driving without a proper exhaust and muffler system
Each offense took place in a different county and included speeding on a state highway and speeding on a four-lane road in a rural area.
The South Dakota Department of Public Safety is leading the investigation with the help of the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Ravnsborg is reportedly 'fully cooperating' with the investigation.