Motorcyclist Killed in Collision With Janklow

Posted August 18, 2003 at 9:38am

Rep. Bill Janklow (R-S.D.) was involved in a car accident Saturday that left a man dead and the former governor unconscious for a brief time.

Janklow, 63, was driving near his home in Brandon, S.D., Saturday afternoon when he collided with a motorcyclist, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The impact drove Janklow’s car off the road. He was later diagnosed with a head injury and a fractured right hand; a Congressional aide who was in the car with Janklow was unharmed.

“I was involved in a very tragic accident late yesterday,” Janklow said in a statement Sunday. “Personally and on behalf of my family we feel as much anguish for this gentleman, and his family and friends, as is humanly possible.”

A South Dakota highway patrolman told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that there was no initial evidence that alcohol or drugs were involved in the crash. It is also unclear whether any charges will be brought against Janklow.

The Congressman had been cited for speeding several times during his tenure as governor. He held the state’s top job from 1978 to 1986 and again from 1994 until 2002. He was elected to South Dakota’s at-large House seat last year.

The accident is the latest in a series of mishaps for Janklow. Last month he publicly contemplated undergoing double bypass surgery for a narrowed heart artery but ultimately decided against it. In 1998, Janklow spent three weeks in the hospital after intestinal surgery.

Janklow has not yet announced whether he will seek re-election to a second House term. He is also mentioned as a possible candidate against Sen. Tom Daschle (D).