‘I hit something.’ Authorities release 911 calls in South Dakota attorney’s general fatal crash investigation

Attorney General Jason Ravensberg killed pedestrians while driving last month. A preliminary autopsy report said Joseph Bower, 55, suffered “major injuries both internally and externally,” South Dakota Department of Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Craig Price told a news conference Tuesday.
In a September statement, Rav Vanceberg’s chief of staff Timothy Borman called the accident a “tragic accident.”
Price said the tragedy happened on the evening of September 12. Ravensberg gave a blood sample to officers the next day. The results of that blood test showed that his blood alcohol content was 0%.

Price was asked by reporters why a blood sample was not taken on the night of the crash.

“I’m not guessing about someone else’s work,” he said. “I know that once our office fees were involved, which was another day … we did an efficient job of moving forward and getting that information.”

According to a 911 call issued by officials this week, Ravensberg told the dispatch that “I hit something” that was in the middle of the road.

The dispatcher asked, “Jason, are you injured?”

To which Ravensberg replied, “I am not, but my car is as sure as hell.”

The attorney general initially told police he hit the deer, the state’s public safety department said last month. Bower’s body was found the next morning, the department said.

On Tuesday, Price said the final ops topsy report could take several weeks to complete.

Investigating a fatal crash takes longer than others, Price said, because North Dakota investigators are involved, and their journey takes about a day.

“Those things add to the complexity and add some things to the timeline of what we’re going to do.”