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Dump-truck driver indicted on manslaughter charges in motorcycle crash

Large Truck Accidents | Featured Articles

April 14 2010 - Dump-truck driver indicted on manslaughter charges in motorcycle crash

A Maricopa County grand jury indicted a dump-truck driver on charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault and endangerment in the March 25 collision that killed four motorcyclists on Carefree Highway.

Michael Jakscht, 46, was arrested April 6 by Phoenix police after a blood test revealed that the driver had methamphetamine in his system when his truck plowed through the group of bikers stopped at a red light at 27th Drive.

Jakscht shaved his long hair and goatee, police said, in an attempt to change his appearance as police investigated the case. Investigators also believe Jakscht was addicted to meth, and that he might have been high at the time of his arrest.

The grand jury indictment was handed up Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court, according to the County Attorney’s Office.

Jakscht drove for Fountain Hills-based Blue Sky Sanitation, which has declined comment.

His 24,000-pound truck collided with a group of 10 motorcyclists stopped at a red light on westbound Carefree Highway as the group made their way to Lake Pleasant on one of their routine rides with M.C. Kruzer’s motorcycle club.

Three motorcyclists died at the scene: Clyde R. Nachand, 67; Stephen Punch, 52; and Daniel L. Butler, 35. Dayle Downs-Totonchi, 47, died one day after the accident.

Phoenix fire Capt. Ernie Lizarraga, 52, who was riding with the group, remains in serious condition.

In all large truck cases it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and to enable physicians or other expert witnesses to thoroughly evaluate any injuries. If you or a loved one is a victim of a large truck accident, call the Truck Accident Lawyers Group, Inc. now at (877) 736-4222 or CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A SIMPLE CASE FORM. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don't delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.