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Outside investigators look at South Dakota AG’s fatal crash

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South Dakota Attorney Jason Ravnsborg
South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says her administration is bringing in outside investigators to look into how the state's attorney general struck and killed a man with his car.

But, she didn't give a timeline on when information on the crash would be released.

Investigators say Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg struck and killed 55-year-old Joseph Boever as he walked near a rural highway, in central South Dakota, on Saturday night.

He says he initially believed he hit a deer and only realized that he hit a person after returning to the site the next day.

The state highway patrol is overseeing the investigation. But, Noem's administration has called in outside crash reconstruction experts and criminal investigators.

"There's a reason we brought in BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigation) from North Dakota," said Noem. "It is to have that accountability in an outside organization involved in the investigation. And, also why we are in consultation with a third-party crash investigation company that will come in and add that kind of accountability that I wanted in this exact situation."

Gov. Noem said, in South Dakota, the Department of Public Safety holds every fatal accident investigation to the same standard.

In this case, because it involves the state attorney general, Noem says they chose to add an additional level of transparency and accountability that outside agencies can provide.

Still, the state won't release recordings of 911 calls, the crash report, or dash-cam video from responding officers, until the investigation is complete.

"We want to have a completed investigation that has integrity, that has been fair, and has followed due process to how we are conducting every activity in regards to this accident and this investigation," said Noem.

Noem said issues related to the investigation will be released, "at the appropriate time."

In a statement released late Monday night, Ravnsborg said he is "deeply saddened" by the tragic nature of the events surrounding the accident.

He said, "My heartfelt condolences go out to the Boever family."

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