PIERRE, S.D. — Attendees of a Lincoln Day Dinner Saturday, Sept. 12, say that South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was not seen drinking alcoholic beverages and did not appear to be incapacitated hours before he struck and killed a pedestrian on a Hyde County highway.
Spink County Republican County Chairman Larry Nielson and Vice Chairwoman Jennifer Boerger posted a statement on Facebook on Tuesday, Sept. 15, regarding the fateful Spink County event days before.
“Because of misrepresentations in the media and on social media, we want to set the record straight about the Spink County Lincoln Day Dinner, and the actions of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg Saturday evening September 12,” the post reads.
“The Lincoln Day Dinner was a family-oriented event with a modest attendance held at Roosters, one of the few restaurants in Redfield which can accommodate handicapped accessible banquet seating. We listened to speakers including Senator Mike Rounds and Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. As the first person(s) there, and the last attendee(s) to leave in the evening, I (We) can personally attest to the fact that I (either of us) did not observe the Attorney General consume any alcohol.”
Nielsen and Boeger assert that in their judgement, Ravnsborg “was not impaired in any way shape or form.”
Ravnsborg released a two-page statement Monday, Sept. 14, where he stated he assumed he had hit a deer just west of Highmore around 10:30 p.m. Saturday night. He said he discovered the next day that he had hit and killed 55-year-old Joe Boever of Highmore, S.D., after discovering Boever’s body in the ditch near the crash site.
Ravnsborg attended the Spink County Lincoln Day Dinner in Redfield on Saturday night, according to his statement.
"I consumed no alcoholic beverages before, during or after the event," Ravnsborg said in his statement.
He said he left the dinner at approximately 9:15 p.m. on his way back to Pierre.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation are investigating the incident.