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Ravnsborg crash investigation file released

Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg's car
House Select Committee on Investigation documents

The investigation file into the fatal car crash involving Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg is now public.

The release completes a promise to the public that the file would get released.

Governor Kristi Noem promised an extra level of transparency and accountability in the investigation of the September 2020 fatal crash that took the life of Highmore resident Joe Boever.

The House impeachment inquiry authorized its release on Monday evening. There are more than 200 files, pictures, documents, audio, and video recordings.

The files include a dispatch call from Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek the morning after the crash.

“Well, I have a dead body in the ditch,” Volek said.

Volek lent Ravnsborg his car the night of the accident. Volek told investigators he never considered that Ravnsborg hit a body.

Joe Boever was carrying a light that evening. Volek says he saw a light glowing along the shoulder of the road but thought it belonged to the car.

Volek died in November last year.

Hundred of pages of PDF investigation files are also available, including text messages between Ravnsborg, his chief of staff, and the director of the Division of Criminal Investigation. His chief of staff asks if the deer died instantly, and Ravnsborg replied that he hit “something in the road.”

It also includes a written statement by Special Agent Brent Gromer, a cell phone forensics expert. Ravnsborg asked Gromer several questions about what data can be found on cell phones.

A majority Republican house impeachment inquiry voted along party lines earlier this week against recommending impeachment of Ravnsborg. The full House will meet on April 12 to vote on whether or not to impeach the attorney general.

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Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.