I'm both angry and sorrowful as I review the news reports concerning the Highmore pedestrian death.
I vividly recall my own vehicle-deer mishaps during the past 25 years. When one's eyes are on the road ahead, the driver can easily identify potential collision objects.
In the Highmore tragedy, the victim (Joe Boever) was walking on the side of the road. He was carrying a flashlight. Mr. Ravnsborg's eyes must have been averted from the road for too many seconds while apparently fiddling with his phone. I'm surprised the forensic reviewers didn't call this "reckless."
When the collision occurred, he would have both felt and heard it. In that fraction of a second, he would have gotten a visual on the shape of the object being flung upward and away. In that fraction of a second, his brain would have registered it as a man and not a deer.
I've had two separate collisions with deer and got a clear visual of each as they went airborne. The brain needs only a fraction of a second to make identification.
Mr. Ravnsborg recounted in his 911 call and later repeated that "he didn't know what he hit -- perhaps it was a deer." Baloney! He knew it was a man. Ravnsborg's story implies he was simply a passenger on an unguided missile.
Actually, I do feel sympathy for Ravnsborg. But his mistakes are too many and too serious. In his 911 call that night, he should have insisted the Hyde County Sheriff bring sufficient flashlights so they could locate the body for possible rescue.
Also, Ravnsborg should have immediately submitted his resignation or leave of absence, thus allowing normal S.D. Highway Patrol and S.D. forensic investigative procedures be initiated. Instead, he lassoed many state and county officials into shared culpability for a string of questionable decisions, actions and conclusions.
Dave L. Wegner
Sioux Falls, Feb. 20