Victim’s Family Speaks Out Regarding South Dakota AG Crash

"You're innocent until proven guilty, but you also don't get to just live your life like nothing happened," Tony Boever said.

Ellen Fike

September 18, 20204 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A family member of the man killed last weekend in a crash involving South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg is speaking out regarding the investigation.

On Thursday, an Atlanta news station posted an interview with Tony Boever, Joseph Boever’s brother. In the discussion, Tony Boever said some people have even been blaming his brother for the the accident in which he was hit by a car driven by Ravnsborg, an event still under investigation.

“My worst fear is that my brother was just laying on the side of the road, within the reach of the headlights from where the car apparently stopped and was laying there dying and suffering,” Tony Boever said in the interview.

Ravnsborg said in a statement earlier this week that he drove home from the Spink County Lincoln Day Dinner in Redfield, South Dakota, around 9:15 p.m. on Saturday.

He didn’t drink any alcohol before, during or after the event, and said that on his way back to Pierre he hit what he believed to be a deer.

“I didn’t see what I hit and stopped my vehicle immediately to investigate,” he said in the statement.

Ravnsborg was alone and uninjured in the collision. He then called 911 to report hitting a deer.

The Hyde County Sheriff arrived on scene to assess the damage to the AG’s vehicle and look for the deer.

Neither the sheriff nor Ravnsborg saw Boever’s body in the ditch, even though Ravnsborg used his cell phone flashlight to search the area, he said.

He returned to the scene of the crash the following morning on his way to return the sheriff’s vehicle. He and an employee stopped to look for the animal again, but instead found Boever’s body nearby.

“My chief of staff and I checked and it was apparent that Mr. Boever was deceased,” Ravnsborg said. “I immediately drove to Sheriff Volek’s home to report the discovery and he accompanied me back to the scene. Once there, the sheriff instructed me that he would handle the investigation, and asked me to return to Pierre.” 

Tony Boever questioned Ravnsborg’s reasoning for going back the next day to the area where the crash happened.

He also questioned the transparency in the investigation, as the case involves one of South Dakota’s highest officials. He noted Ravnsborg hadn’t been placed on administrative leave yet, something that didn’t sit right with him.

“You’re innocent until proven guilty, but you also don’t get to just live your life like nothing happened,” Tony Boever said.

A medical examination on Boever’s body was completed earlier this week in Minnesota. North Dakota investigators are also assisting the investigation of the crash.

According to his obituary, Boever was a South Dakota native who held a nursing degree and was known for his gentle personality.

He graduated from Brookings High School in 1982 and received his nursing degree from the University of South Dakota. He married his wife, Jennifer Mohr, in 2017.

Boever worked in various nursing homes over the years, was a handyman and had a natural talent for gardening, especially when he cultivated jade plants. He was also a voracious reader who taught himself to read at five.

His obituary touted Boever’s insatiable curiousity, quit wit and dry humor.

“He loved his wife and family as we loved him and his passing leaves a hole in all our hearts,” the obituary stated.

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Ellen Fike