SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was involved in a traffic collision that killed someone, Gov. Kristi Noem announced Sunday, Sept. 13, in a hastily called press conference in Sioux Falls.
Ravnsborg was not the fatality in the crash, which took place about 10:30 p.m. on U.S. Highway 14 just west of Highmore, S.D., Noem said.
Law enforcement is working to identify the deceased and notify the family, she said, and the South Dakota Highway Patrol will investigate the incident.
"The Department of Public Safety Secretary Craig Price will oversee that and report directly to me," Noem said.
As Noem finished speaking, Ravnsborg's office released a statement from the attorney general.
"I am shocked and filled with sorrow following the events of last night. As Gov. Noem stated, I am fully cooperating with the investigation and I fully intend to continue to do so moving forward," Ravnsborg said. "At this time I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family."
Price, who joined Noem for the press conference in Sioux Falls City Hall, was formerly a superintendent of the state Highway Patrol, and the Highway Patrol is part of the Department of Public Safety, although Ravnsborg is the chief law enforcement officer of the state.
"South Dakota Highway Patrol routinely investigates fatality crashes across our state, and we will handle this as we would any other fatal crash," Price said.
Price said a lot of details of the crash are still being investigated and therefore he couldn't answer questions about how many people were involved in the collision or their identities, how many vehicles were involved or the condition of Ravnsborg himself.
"As with a lot of investigations, there are a lot of questions we can't answer. That is one of those questions," he said.
The state Department of Public Safety routinely releases such details of fatal crashes within hours or by the next day. A Sunday news release from DPS about a fatal crash on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Bennett County included details about how many vehicles were involved, what type of vehicles were involved, the age and gender of the deceased and the circumstances under which he died, such as whether the person was wearing a seat belt.
Ravnsborg, a Republican, was elected alongside Noem in 2018. He was previously a partner in a Yankton law firm and deputy state's attorney for Union County. He is an Army veteran.