Janklow says he couldn’t be sorrier about accident

| 9/23/2003

U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow, R-SD, speaking publicly for the first time since he was charged in a deadly crash, said he "couldn't be sorrier" for the August accident that killed a motorcyclist, The Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors said Janklow ran a stop sign at 71 mph and collided with the motorcycle. He told reporters he thinks about his future but doesn't know yet what he'll do.

In the short run, he plans to return to Washington to get back to work.

"I've been in public service since 1966," Janklow said. "I don't know what's appropriate at this point in time, candidly. And I do give it a lot of thought. There's things more important than politics to me."

Asked whether he would run for re-election next year, Janklow said: "I have no idea. There's a time for everything."

Janklow is charged in South Dakota with second-degree manslaughter, which is a felony, and three misdemeanors for the Aug. 16 crash that killed Randy Scott, 55, of Hardwick, MN. A prosecutor said Janklow was going 71 mph in a 55-mph zone and had just run a stop sign at a rural intersection when Scott's motorcycle hit the Cadillac Janklow was driving.

A hearing is set for Thursday and Friday to determine whether there is enough evidence for a trial. If convicted of second-degree manslaughter, Janklow could face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He would not be allowed to vote in the House or take part in committee meetings, though those privileges would be returned if he were re-elected or the conviction were overturned.