- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 20, 2003

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Rep. Bill Janklow, South Dakota Republican, was driving an estimated 70-75 mph when he ran a stop sign and collided with a motorcycle, according to an accident report released yesterday by the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

The speed limit on the road is 55 mph. The report increases the likelihood of prosecutors bringing criminal charges against the former four-term governor, who has held enormous power in South Dakota politics for nearly 30 years.

Highway Patrol officials said they would forward the results of the report to Moody County prosecutor William Ellingson, who will decide whether to bring charges against Mr. Janklow.

Mr. Ellingson said he has no deadline for deciding any charges.

“That process cannot and should not be rushed,” the prosecutor said.

Mr. Janklow’s son, Russ Janklow, said yesterday his father was expecting to be prosecuted. Potential charges range from second-degree manslaughter to misdemeanors such as careless driving.

The Saturday afternoon crash killed Randolph E. Scott, 55, whose Harley-Davidson collided with Mr. Janklow’s Cadillac at an intersection of two paved roads near the Minnesota line.

The lawmaker’s car spun around and ended up in a ditch at the edge of a soybean field. Mr. Scott was thrown from the motorcycle and landed in a soybean field; he died at the scene.

The accident report said the motorcycle was going 55 mph to 60 mph at the time of the crash.

According to the report, Mr. Janklow said he had to swerve to avoid another vehicle. However, no other vehicles are listed in the report.

The report also says neither man had been drinking. Mr. Scott was not wearing a motorcycle helmet, which is not illegal in South Dakota.

Mr. Janklow, 63, injured his head, fractured his hand and was unconscious for a short time after the crash, his son said.

Shortly after the crash, he complained of a bad headache and seemed confused, his son said. Family members encouraged him to see a doctor, but he refused until the next day.

Mr. Janklow underwent more medical tests Tuesday that apparently found some bleeding on the brain near his right temple, his son said.


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