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First witness provides evidence from accident during impeachment trial

Berndt and Kinney.jpg
Lee Strubinger
Trooper John Berndt (left) and Sgt. Kevin Kinney (right) of the South Dakota Highway Patrol present their crash investigation findings to lawmakers and the public earlier this year in Pierre.

The first witness of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s impeachment trial detailed evidence left at the scene of a traffic accident.

Ravnsborg was driving a car that struck and killed pedestrian Joe Boever in September 2020. The accident happened on a rural highway near Highmore.

Kevin Kinney, a sergeant with the South Dakota Highway Patrol, testified today that Ravnsborg traveled over the white line on the side of the highway during the accident.

“The area of impact happened within a foot or two of the grass edge, which would put his entire vehicle to the right side of the rumble strips, so I can say with 100 percent confidence that he was driving down the shoulder of the road," Kinney said.

Kinney said there were no signs that Ravnsborg performed evasive maneuvers. Kinney said that means Ravnsborg traveled along the side of the road for an extended time.

Ravnsborg pleaded no-contest to a pair of misdemeanors in a criminal case stemming from the crash. One of those crimes was using a phone while driving. The other was an illegal lane change.

The House of Representatives impeached Ravnsborg earlier this year. The Senate is now considering whether to remove Ravnsborg from office, and whether to bar him from holding future office.

SDPB is broadcasting the Senate trial live on its radio, television and internet programs.

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