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Ravnsborg Investigation: Pedestrian Dressed Like Victim and Carrying Victim’s Flashlight Easily Visible to Motorists

As part of its investigation of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s killing of Joe Boever, South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers tested just how visible Joe Boever would have been walking along the north edge of Highway 14 west of Highmore at night with a lit flashlight in his hand. On the evening of September 24, twelve days after Ravnsborg’s fatal crash, Trooper John Berndt drove an exemplar vehicle with the same headlights as those on Ravnsborg’s red Ford Taurus. Another trooper dressed in clothing similar to what Boever was wearing when Ravnsborg hit him walked along the side of the highway. The second trooper carried Boever’s flashlight.

SDHP Sergeant Kevin R. Kinney reported the results:

On this evening, TRP Berndt completed the nighttime visibility testing by driving the exemplar vehicle past the crash location with someone walking on the shoulder of the road in similar clothing to MR Boever. TRP Berndt utilized the same brand and model of headlights in the exemplar vehicle along with high and low beam to test the visibility of a person walking on the shoulder of the road holding the flashlight found at the scene. The flashlight was held in different positions beings it is unknown how MR Boever was holding the light at the time of the collision. During this testing several other uninvolved vehicles traveling past the pedestrian applied their brakes and slowed down when they saw him on the edge of the roadway. One vehicle that passed the location went down the road and turned around to come back and assist the pedestrian. When this testing was complete, BCI and TRP Berndt placed the flashlight on the ground in the same location that it was laying to simulate what it would look like on the night of the crash. The light was easily visible from both sides of the roadway had one been looking in the area where the debris from the crash was left behind [SDHP Sgt. Kevin R. Kinney, “Supplemental Report: Jason Ravnsborg/Joseph Boever Fatal Pedestrian Crash on 09/12/2020,” p. 6; included in SDHP investigation file, released by Legislative Research Council 2022.03.30].

Not only the investigating officer but several civilian drivers completely unaware of the investigation apparently saw the man and the flashlight on the side of the road and hit their brakes. These results from an observant and helpful public indicate that Jason Ravnsborg, who did not hit his brakes before impact and who has sworn he didn’t see whom he hit even after Boever’s face and eyeglasses came through his windshield indicates that either Ravnsborg has much worse eyesight than most people or didn’t have his eyes on the road at all when he struck and killed Joe Boever.

10 Comments

  1. ds 2022-04-01

    The RCJ reports that the sheriff Volek testified that he saw the illuminated flashlight by the roadway but assumed that it was a light from the wrecked vehicle….did he think that the wires to the car battery were still attached???

  2. sx123 2022-04-01

    One would have to not be paying attention to not see someone walking alongside the road with a flashlight.
    Also, the car’s headlights would normally illuminate the person enough to see them, if paying attention.
    And of course, most of this can be avoided by not driving on the shoulder…

  3. mike from iowa 2022-04-01

    Mike, your Argus Leader link is behind a paywall. What’s the assistance name so I can look it up, please.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-04-01

    The quote from Mike’s article:

    Within hours of his death, Boever’s political affiliation was a topic of conversation in Ravnsborg’s political circle, according to both the South Dakota Department of Public Safety and a police report. And newly released investigation reports implicate political strategist Matthew Samp was the source of a text message received by Ravnsborg two days after Boever was killed.

    The reports indicate that detectives believed Samp, Ravnsborg’s campaign manager in the 2018 election, was the individual who wrote to the attorney general in a text, “Well, at least the guy was a Democrat.”

    While Samp did not admit to detectives he’d sent the text that Ravnsborg received on Sept. 14, 2020, he did say that he “may have sent that text message,” according to an investigation report filed by North Dakota investigator Joe Arenz [Joe Sneve, “Ravnsborg Adviser Who Sent Text About Crash Victim Was Accused of Molesting Teen,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.03.31].

    Samp has never faced trial of been convicted of wrongdoing related to the allegations in question.

  5. Nick Nemec 2022-04-01

    On the night he was killed by Jason Ravnsborg, as he walked on the side of the road with a flashlight, several passing motorists testified that they saw Joe walking on the edge of the road. At least one stopped to offer a ride, Joe declined the assistance

  6. mike from iowa 2022-04-01

    Thanks, for the response, Gentlemen.

  7. Nick Nemec 2022-04-01

    Cory, yes the motorists who saw Joe walking on the shoulder next to the grass were interviewed and their statements are in the crash report.

  8. Richard Schriever 2022-04-02

    We all need to not see Ravnsborg’s name on any ballots.

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