Officials: Man struck by South Dakota AG's car died from 'traumatic injuries'

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Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Officials in South Dakota have released the autopsy report of the pedestrian Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg struck with his vehicle last month, stating the man died of traumatic injuries.

South Dakota's Public Safety Secretary Craig Price made the announcement Tuesday during a press conference on the investigation into the death of 55-year-old Joseph Boever.

Last month, Gov. Kristi Noem said an investigation had been opened into a crash on the night of Sept. 12 involving Ravnsborg that resulted in Boever's death.

Ravnsborg told the public shortly after in a statement that he was driving home from a dinner during which he did not drink when he struck what he believed to be a deer and that he was the one to call the crash into the authorities. He also said he was the one to discover Boever's body on inspecting the crash site the next day.

Price told reporters Tuesday that a preliminary autopsy report showed Boever had died of injuries sustained in a car crash.

"Mr. Boever's cause of death, as outlined in a preliminary autopsy report, was traumatic injuries due to a pedestrian motor vehicle crash," he said. "Injuries were extensive, both internally and externally."

Further details will be included in a full autopsy report that may take up to several weeks to complete, he said.

Price also said a toxicology report of a blood sample Ravnsborg supplied at around 1:30 p.m. the day after the crash showed there was no alcohol in his system.

Asked if a blood sample should have been taken the night of the crash, Price responded that he is not going to "speculate on the work of others" but that once his office became involved in the investigation around 10:30 a.m. the next day "we worked efficiently to go ahead and get that information."

The officials also released the audio and a transcript of Ravnsborg's 911 call, during which he told the dispatcher he wasn't sure what he hit, stating "it was in the middle of the road."

"It sure hit me," he said in the two-minute recording. "Smashed my windshield."

"On no," said the dispatcher. "Okay, do you think it was a deer or something?"

"I have no idea," he said, adding, "it could be, I mean, it was right in the roadway."

Gov. Noem, who is overseeing the case, told reporters during the press conference that Ravnsborg has not been placed on administrative at this time.

The investigation is ongoing, Price said.

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