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Sheriff who responded to fatal crash involving South Dakota attorney general has died

Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek could've been questioned by committee that could potentially be cleared by the House of Representatives next week at a special session to further investigate potential impeachment charges against Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. Volek was first on scene the night Ravnsborg hit and killed a pedestrian.

FSA South Dakota SD brief

HIGHMORE, S.D. — The sheriff who first came upon South Dakota's attorney general after he collided with a man walking along a roadside last fall has died, says a county official.

Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek was 69. The Hyde County Sheriff's Office confirmed via its Facebook page confirmed that Volek had died.

"Volek's tenure should be commended," said Nathan Brady, a deputy with the department. "Those of us serving rural areas are committed to providing emergency services and law enforcement, whether it involves friend, family or foe."

The department did not respond to a request for details on Volek's cause of death.

Volek's death comes just before next week's special session at the South Dakota Legislature. Volek had been a potential witness should the House of Representatives move ahead with an impeachment inquiry of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg at the special session.

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On Nov. 9, the South Dakota House of Representatives will take up a proposal to investigate Ravnsborg for possible impeachment and removal from office for his role in a fatal collision west of Highmore, South Dakota, last year.

On the night of Sept. 12, 2020, Volek was the first to respond to a dispatched 911 call from Ravnsborg after he'd struck and killed pedestrian Joe Boever, telling the dispatch he believed he'd hit a "large animal."

Later that night, after what was described by prosecutors as a search of the ditch, Volek loaned his personal vehicle to Ravnsborg to return to Pierre.

While Volek had not spoken publicly about his role in investigating the crash scene that night, he did on two occasions speak with personnel from North Dakota who led the investigation.

In a February news conference, Sully County Assistant State's Attorney Emily Sovell was asked about whether it was inappropriate for Volek to loan out his car to the attorney general after the crash.

"To play Monday morning quarterback and say that something should've been different, I don't know," Sovell said. "It would not be unheard of for law enforcement to go to a situation like that, and if they have somebody that they know or are comfortable lending a vehicle to, that would not have been unheard of."

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