Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Tuesday | August 19, 2003

Rep. Janklow kills motorcyclist

I avoided posting on this earlier, but Rep. Janklow of S.D. killed a motorist Saturday afternoon. It's a tragedy no matter which way you look at it, and who was at fault, and it was inappropriate to speculate without much info.

But further information is emerging. The intersection in which the accident happened had a single stop sign -- on the road Janklow was driving. The motorcyclist didn't have a stop sign.

And in the wake of the accident, Janklow's driving record is getting a new airing -- 12 speeding tickets in four years in the 1990s, though none since 1994 when he was elected to his third term as governor.

Janklow, who narrowly won his house race in 2002, was considered the GOP's top choice to take on Daschle next year. Regardless how this shakes out, that seems unlikely now. Indeed, his political career is probably over, not to mention possible jail time if he's found criminally negligent.

There's no joy in any of this. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, and an innocent life was snuffed out in the process. I feel horrible for the family of the slain motorist, and I feel horrible for the Janklows. These sorts of things just shouldn't happen.

Update: Now things are getting really serious:

Rep. Bill Janklow 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 [...]

The most severe potential charge would be vehicular homicide, although alcohol must be a factor in the crash.

Second-degree manslaughter is a possible charge if the evidence suggests death was caused by recklessness. Second-degree manslaughter is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

And don't forget the wrongful death lawsuit the Scott family will file against Janklow.

Posted August 19, 2003 01:00 AM | Comments (130)


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