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'It Was Right In The Roadway:' Gov. Releases Ravnsborg 911 Call, Toxicology Report

The Department of Public Safety is releasing a toxicology report and audio of the 911 call from the night Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg struck and killed a Hyde County resident a month ago.

The crash occurred outside of the town of Highmore a half mile west of the US Highway 14 and South Dakota 47 junction on September 12th.

An autopsy determined the cause of Joseph Boever’s death was traumatic injuries due to a pedestrian-motor vehicle crash.

Highway patrol officers performed a blood draw on Ravnsborg at 1:30 pm the next day. The toxicology report show his blood-alcohol content at zero.

Craig Price is the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety. He says they try to turn around investigations within 30 days. Given the high-profile nature of this case, Price says it’s taking more time.

“There’s so many variables with each investigation,” Price says. “This one, we have variables such as North Dakota [Bureau of Criminal Investigation] agents that are working the case. For them to come down to South Dakota and work in the Highmore, Pierre area, they spent a day travelling down here. Stayed for a couple days, traveled home. We have the autopsy results we’re still waiting for from the Ramsey County Coronor’s office. Those things add to the complexity and somethings add to the timeline of what we’re expected to do.”

Ravnsborg is not on administrative leave. Governor Kristi Noem says she won’t weigh in on whether she thinks the Attorney General should take administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.

She says she is in charge of the department conducting the investigation—the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

“They report to me,” Noem says. “That is why we brought in the North Dakota BCI to add some accountability to the investigative process. Then, also, brought in a reconstructionist that’s highly recommended at the national level to give us some more benefit of having a clearer picture in this specific case.”

Officials say the investigation may still take several weeks to complete.

Lee Strubinger is the politics and public policy reporter for SDPB.

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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.