- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 19, 2003

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Rep. Bill Janklow ran a stop sign before his Cadillac collided with a motorcycle at a rural intersection over the weekend, killing the motorcycle rider, a prosecutor said yesterday.

Investigators still have not determined how fast Mr. Janklow was driving, said Moody County State’s Attorney William Ellingson.

But preliminary reports indicate Mr. Janklow went through the intersection without stopping, Mr. Ellingson said. He said Mr. Janklow’s car traveled about 300 feet after impact.

Randolph E. Scott, 55, of Hardwick, Minn., died when his motorcycle collided with Mr. Janklow’s car near Trent, about 25 miles northeast of Sioux Falls. Mr. Scott did not have a stop sign at his intersection.

The investigation should be done in the next two to three days, South Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Jeff Talbot said. The results will then be forwarded to Mr. Ellingson, who will determine if charges should be filed, Capt. Talbot said.

The most severe potential charge would be vehicular homicide, although for that charge alcohol must be a factor in the crash.

Second-degree manslaughter is a potential charge if the evidence suggests death was caused by recklessness. Second-degree manslaughter is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Other potential charges include failure to yield, running a traffic signal or other infractions.

Capt. Talbot said Mr. Janklow’s 1995 Cadillac has a black box, which records information such as how fast the car was going and whether the brakes were applied.

“We’ve recovered that and that’s going to be analyzed to see if any information can be derived from that,” Capt. Talbot said.

Authorities also are talking to five witnesses as they investigate the crash, Capt. Talbot said. One of the witnesses is a second motorcyclist who was traveling with Mr. Scott.

The crash has led to closer scrutiny of Mr. Janklow’s spotty driving record. The former four-term South Dakota governor is a notorious speeder, picking up a dozen speeding tickets in a four-year period in the early 1990s.

However, Mr. Janklow has not been ticketed for speeding since October 1994, just before he was elected to his third term as governor. He served as governor from 1979-1986 and 1995-2002 before being elected to the state’s lone House seat last year.

Mr. Janklow also got several speeding tickets during his first term as governor. He was warned in 1982 that he was in danger of losing his license after being stopped for going 80 mph in a 55-mph zone in Turner County. Mr. Janklow had received a similar warning in 1979 during his first year in office.

Mr. Janklow hurt his right hand and suffered a head injury in Saturday’s crash. Chris Braendlin, one of his staff members, was traveling with him but was not injured, authorities said.

Mr. Janklow was on his way home to Brandon after attending an event in Aberdeen to honor Korean War veterans.

Blood was taken from Mr. Scott and from Mr. Janklow for testing and authorities expected to get results back sometime this week, Capt. Talbot said.

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