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The South Dakota Highway Patrol announced last week that Ivan Reddest, Jr., 24, a Kyle, South Dakota man, died as a pedestrian in Box Elder, a town next to Rapid City. Reddest was a tribal citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

His death was the fourth fatality involving an Oglala Sioux member in the last few weeks in western South Dakota. All were young and pedestrians walking along South Dakota highways.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol announced in a press release on Sept. 12 that a 24-year-old male walked out of the median and into the eastbound left lane of Highway 14/16. The incident happened on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2022 according to the press release that went on to say an investigation is pending.

“Preliminary crash information indicates a 2009 Ford Fusion was traveling eastbound in the left lane on U.S. Hwy. 14/16 just before 10:30 p.m. when a man walked out of the median and into the lane,” said the South Dakota Highway Patrol on Sept. 12. “The vehicle struck the pedestrian.”

The driver of the Fusion is 27-year-old Jake Rinder and has sustained minor injuries while wearing a seatbelt. The pedestrian, Ivan Reddest Jr., 24, was taken to Monument Heath Rapid City but had died as a result of his injuries.

The Sioux Funeral Home, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, announced that Reddest made his journey to the Spirit World on Sept. 9 and funeral arrangements are pending. 

Guardians, a non-profit organization that provides 24/7 emergency roadside services on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, said in a Facebook post said of Reddest: “We lost another Guardian today, Ivan Reddest. Heaven needed another Guardian. Prayers for his family. Thank you for your service, Guardian Ivan Reddest. The Oyate [Lakota for the people] appreciates your service to the people. And thank you for being a friend.”

Last month, Native News Online reported two separate incidents that resulted in the deaths of three young Lakota women walking on the roadside in South Dakota by vehicles. One incident involved a hit-and-run that left two teenage Lakota girls dead as a result of their injuries in Porcupine, a town on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, just outside their home. Another incident involved the reporting of a woman deceased in the roadway and that she was likely already run over before another vehicle ran her over and then reported it to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. 

Last year, the Oglala Sioux Tribe sued the federal government for failing to uphold its trust responsibility to the Tribe by providing adequate law enforcement on the 2.1 million-acre Pine Ridge Reservation. In May 2023, a federal court in South Dakota ruled in favor of the Tribe, acknowledging the reservation’s depleted police force and high crime rate and holding that the United States owes a treaty-based duty to fund law enforcement for the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

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About The Author
Author: Darren ThompsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a staff reporter for Native News Online who is based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Thompson has reported on political unrest, tribal sovereignty, and Indigenous issues for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, Powwows.com and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Voice of America on various Indigenous issues in international conversation. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology & Law Studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.