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Report says Janklow was driving 70-75 mph at time of crash
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The car Bill Janklow was driving was severely damaged in an accident Saturday, when a motorcycle struck the car. The cyclist was killed. (MPR Photo/Cara Hetland)
A South Dakota state patrol accident report says Congressman Bill Janklow was traveling as much as 20 mph over the speed limit when he ran a stop sign and collided with a motorcycle, killing the rider last weekend.

Sioux Falls, S.D. — The State Patrol says Janklow's Cadillac was driving 70-75 mph in a 55 mph zone, and had just ran through a stop sign, when he collided with Randy Scott's motorcycle.

The report says Scott was traveling 55-60 mph when his motorcycle hit the side of Janklow's car. The car spun and came to a stop in a ditch 300 feet from the intersection. Scott died at the scene. His body was found in a soybean field.

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Image Motorcycle damage

The regional captain for the South Dakota Highway Patrol says investigators are finishing up the final details in the investigation. They will turn the full report over to the Moody County state's attorney, who will determine what charges, if any, will be filed.

The report angered some residents of Hardwick, Minnesota, Randy Scott's hometown. Ray Hueser, who owns the Hardwick Grocery Store, says there is a sense that Janklow is getting preferential treatment. He says some fear that Janklow will not be held responsible for Randy Scott's death.

"Mr. Janklow has gotten away with maybe breaking too many laws during his life. Nobody has put a stop to it. Nobody has said, 'Hey, you can't get away with this.' And he has. It cost a life. And that's pathetic," says Hueser.

Following the accident, Janklow told authorities he swerved to avoid a vehicle in his lane. However, the state police says no other vehicles were involved in the accident.

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Image Rear damage

This is not the first time Janklow has reported he had to swerve in order to miss a vehicle or animal. Accident reports show there were three times in 1993 when the former governor was involved in an accident, after which he told officers he was trying to avoid hitting something.

The chairman of the South Dakota Republican Party says he has not talked personally with Janklow about his political future. Randy Frederick says all the facts need to come out before decisions are made about Janklow's term in the U.S. House.

"There are so many directions that this could go that's pure speculation. So it's best to let things unfold in their own due course -- to allow the state's attorney to do his job. Allow the Highway Patrol to finish up what they're doing if they haven't already finished it," says Frederick.

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Image Accident diagram

"In good time we will all have a much clearer vision, or picture I should say, of what happened. At this point in time there are more people willing to speculate, and that's just not good," he says.

Janklow served four terms as South Dakota's governor before being elected to the U.S. House last fall.

The 1995 Cadillac Janklow was driving is registered to a long-time friend and private investigator. At the time of the accident, it was equipped with blue and red lights of the type reserved for emergency vehicles. It's not illegal to have them. But it is illegal to use them on non-emergency vehicles. There is no evidence that the lights were flashing at the time of the accident.

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