Prosecutor: Congressman Ran Stop Sign Before Killing Motorcyclist

Rep. Bill Janklow (search) 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 Tuesday.

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

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

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

Authorities are talking to five witnesses as they investigate the crash, South Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Jeff Talbot said. One of the witnesses is a second motorcyclist who was traveling with Scott.

The investigation should be done in the next two to three days, Talbot said. The results will then be forwarded to Ellingson, who will determine if charges should be filed, Talbot said.

Talbot also said 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," Talbot said.

The crash has led to closer scrutiny of 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, 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.

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. Janklow had received a similar warning in 1979 during his first year in office.

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

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

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

Last month, doctors considered double bypass surgery after they found a narrowing of a main artery leading into his heart. But doctors ultimately decided the narrowing was just part of Janklow's natural physical makeup. Instead of surgery, Janklow said he would take some additional medications and try to lose weight.

In 1998 and 1999, he suffered life-threatening health problems and was hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic (search). He was diagnosed with and treated for diverticulitis, inflammation of the pancreas and diabetes.