PIERRE, S.D. — U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds offered his condolences Thursday to the family of a man who was struck and killed Saturday, Sept. 12, by South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.
Rounds, R-S.D., said he spoke with Ravnsborg at a Lincoln Day Dinner both men attended in Redfield, S.D., hours before Ravnsborg hit the pedestrian en route to his home to Pierre later that night.
During a Thursday, Sept. 17, call with the media, Rounds said that about 25 people attended the event Saturday. He said he greeted attendees and visited at the door while social distancing as much as possible due to COVID-19 and to protect the health of his wife, Jean Rounds, who is recovering from surgery after having a malignant tumor removed earlier this month.
“Just with everything I try to avoid any crowds at all,” Rounds said, noting that he stepped in to give his message, then was back out of the building once his speech concluded.
Rounds did not offer any further observations of Ravnsborg’s conduct at the dinner as he said he was not in the building other than when he gave his speech. He said he is confident the state of South Dakota will do a good job investigating the incident.
Rounds said the fatal crash that killed Highmore resident Joe Boever, 55, is very, very unfortunate and offered his condolences to Boever’s family during the media call.
Ravnsborg was driving westbound on U.S. Highway 14 in a 2011 Ford Taurus when he struck and killed Boever, according to a news release from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.
In a statement provided to the media on Monday night, Ravnsborg said he told the Hyde County Sheriff’s Office that he thought he hit a deer. Boever’s body was discovered the next morning by Ravnsborg and his chief of staff, Tim Bormann, when they were returning the car lent to Ravnsborg by Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek.
Ravnsborg said Volek offered him his personal vehicle to drive home to Pierre on Saturday night due to the damage the 2011 Taurus sustained in the collision.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol is leading the investigation and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting with the investigation to avoid any potential conflict of interest.