SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow was driving 70 mph to 75 mph on a county road when he failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with a motorcycle Saturday, killing the biker, according to an accident report released by the South Dakota Highway Patrol.
The speed limit on the road east of Trent is 55 mph.
Janklow was driving south from Flandreau to his home in Brandon Saturday afternoon when he failed to stop at the stop sign.
A motorcycle driven by Randolph E. Scott of Hardwick, Minn., crashed into Janklow's car, which spun around and ended up in the southwest ditch at the edge of a soybean field.
Scott was thrown from the motorcycle and landed in a soybean field. His bike went into the ditch. He died at the scene.
The motorcycle was going 55 mph to 60 mph at the time of the crash, the accident report said.
The speeds listed are estimates.
According to the report, Janklow said he had to swerve to avoid another vehicle.
"The driver of vehicle No. 1 (Janklow) stated there was a vehicle in his lane of traffic and he had to make an evasive maneuver to avoid the vehicle," the report stated.
However, no other vehicles are listed in the accident report.
The report also says neither man had been drinking.
The former governor's son, Russ Janklow, said his father, who hurt his right hand and suffered a head injury, was confused after the collision about the details and was unsure what happened.
"I'm being told by all sorts of people that when you're in a traumatic accident like this you end up seeing and saying all sorts of things," Russ Janklow told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.
He said he doesn't think his father intentionally ran the stop sign. Instead, his father probably was talking and inattentive as he approached the intersection, the younger Janklow said.
"The fact that there was not any braking involved tells me my dad didn't see this intersection," Russ Janklow said.
Highway Patrol officials said Wednesday the report would be given to William Ellingson, Moody County state's attorney.
In a statement, Ellingson said he will continue to keep the public informed of the investigation and the status of any charges. But test results, the identity or testimony of witnesses, physical evidence and other information that could be introduced at a trial won't be released, he said.
Ellingson said he will be careful and thorough and has no deadline for deciding any charges. "That process cannot and should not be rushed," he said.
"I will wait until I receive the reports and upon receipt will take the time necessary to study them and have any follow-up investigation done that I feel is necessary in order to get all the facts."
Ellingson said he has reported the general nature of facts in the case, including identities, the direction of travel, point of impact and that it appeared Janklow's car did not stop at the stop sign.
The accident report, released late Wednesday afternoon, also confirmed that Scott was not wearing a helmet. Helmets are not required in South Dakota for adult motorcyclists.
Janklow was driving a 1995 Cadillac registered to longtime friend Marc Tobias. The car had $8,000 in damage, while damage to the 1997 Harley-Davidson motorcycle was listed at $13,000.
The motorcycle hit the rear passenger door on the driver's side of the car.
The crash occurred at the intersection of two Moody County paved roads. The speed limit on both roads is 55 mph.
The prosecutor in neighboring Minnehaha County, Dave Nelson, said he can remember only a few cases when a driver in his county was charged with felony second-degree manslaughter after a fatal traffic accident.
Such drivers usually face reckless driving or other misdemeanors, he said. Reckless driving can include improper passing or lane changes, stop sign violations, speeding, defective equipment, and drinking or drug use, Nelson said.
Reckless driving carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Vehicular homicide can only be charged if drugs or alcohol are involved.
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