South Dakota AG issues statement on fatal crash, says 'I discovered the body'

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R) said late Monday that he discovered the body of the man he struck and killed with his car last weekend, whom Ravnsborg said he initially believed to be a large animal.

In a statement, Ravnsborg said he stopped his car and “saw nothing to indicate what I had hit.” Both he and the local sheriff were unable to find anything that night, he said, and the sheriff loaned him his personal vehicle as his car was too damaged to drive. The next morning, the attorney general said, he returned with his chief of staff and found the body of the man, Joe Boever.

“I discovered the body of Mr. Boever in the grass just off the roadway,” Ravnsborg wrote. “My chief of staff and I checked and it was apparent that Mr. Boever was deceased. 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.”

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Ravnsborg said that he did not drink any alcohol before driving Saturday night, and that he has provided a blood draw and both of his cell phones.

“I have not made a statement before now because the matter is being investigated and I want to respect that process and let it happen without any interference or appearance of impropriety on my part,” Ravnsborg said in his statement, adding that he would not take any questions on the matter until the investigation is complete.

The state Highway Patrol will investigate the incident with the assistance of the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the oversight of Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemSouth Dakota AG issues statement on fatal crash, says 'I discovered the body' Authorities confirm South Dakota attorney general involved in fatal crash South Dakota governor defends Sturgis rallygoers: 'Exercised their personal freedom to attend' MORE (R), according to The New York Times. Noem will oversee the probe in lieu of the attorney general’s office, which has oversight of the bureau and typically assists Highway Patrol investigations.

The incident took place as Boever was walking on the side of the road near Highmore, S.D. Boever's cousin told the Argus Leader that Boever was walking to his own vehicle, which was in a ditch off the side of the road.