Motorcyclist Dies in Collision With Congressman

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Republican Rep. Bill Janklow (search) says he feels "anguish" over the death of a motorcyclist who collided with a car he was driving. Authorities said the intersection had a stop sign only for Janklow, and an investigation was continuing.

Janklow, 63, a former four-term South Dakota governor in his first congressional term, suffered minor injuries in Saturday's crash but didn't require medical attention, said Col. Dan Mosteller, the head of the state Highway Patrol.

Randolph E. Scott, 55, of Hardwick, Minn., was pronounced dead at the scene, Mosteller said.

Authorities said the intersection had a stop sign on the road Janklow was on, but did not immediately indicate whether they thought he had run it or stopped and then failed to see the approaching cyclist. Mosteller said an accident report would be available "in a couple of days."

Janklow said in a statement Sunday that he was recovering from his injuries at home.

"Personally, and on behalf of my family, we feel as much anguish for this gentleman and his family and friends as is humanly possible," the congressman said, adding that any more comment at this time would be inappropriate.

Russ Janklow, the congressman's son, said his father "feels absolutely horrible about this. I've never seen him as distraught as I saw him last night."

Janklow had been on his way home after attending an event to honor Korean War (search) veterans, said Russ Janklow. Scott had been driving his motorcycle home from his father-in-law's 80th birthday party.

The car and the motorcycle collided about 4:30 p.m. near Trent, about 25 miles north of Sioux Falls. Scott was not wearing a helmet, Mosteller said.

Moody County Coroner Ted Jacobs told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader (search) that he drew routine blood samples from the victim and the driver to determine alcohol levels. Results were not yet available, but Mosteller said there was no indication that alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash.

Prosecutor Bill Ellingson said he was awaiting accident reports before deciding whether to file charges. Jacobs said the motorcycle was westbound and the car was southbound, and there was a stop sign for southbound traffic.

Chris Braendlin, one of Janklow's staff members, was traveling with the congressman but was not injured, Mosteller said.

Janklow was South Dakota's governor from 1979 to 1987 and again from 1995 to 2003. During his last term, he was the nation's longest-serving governor. Janklow was elected last fall to the U.S. House of Representatives; he is the state's only congressman.

His health was the focus of recent speculation. Doctors considered double bypass surgery a month ago, but decided against it. Instead of surgery, Janklow said he would take additional medications and try to lose weight.

"I'm in darn good health for a guy my age," Janklow said last week.

Capt. Jeff Talbot, district commander of the South Dakota Highway Patrol in Sioux Falls, said he did not know if officials were looking into whether any medications Janklow was on may have contributed to the crash.

In Hardwick, Minn., Scott was remembered as a farmer with an easy laugh, who recently bought the motorcycle he was riding.

David Lorenzen had known Scott for 45 years, since grade school. "He was one of those guys who if you needed something, he was always there for you," Lorenzen said.