Driver charged for manslaughter in fatal Phoenix motorcycle wreck

Legal news for Arizona criminal attorneys. The driver of the dump truck that hit a pack of bikers faces four counts of manslaughter, among other charges.

The dump truck driver responsible for a crash that killed four motorcyclists in Phoenix, faces manslaughter charges.

Phoenix, AZ—The sanitation truck driver that struck a pack of motorcyclists, which fatally injured four, was booked and charged for four counts of manslaughter, five counts of aggravated assault and seven counts of endangerment. Phoenix police arrested the 46-year-old man on suspicion of driving under the influence of methamphetamine following the March 25 crash, as reported by AZ Central.

Michael Jakscht was driving a dump truck for Blue Sky sanitation when he rear-ended a group of motorcyclists who were stopped at a red light near Arizona 51 and Highland Avenue. The pack of 10 bikers were on their way for a trip to Lake Pleasant as a part of their routine rides with the M.C. Kruzer’s motorcycle club. Three bikes were killed at the scene, which were identified as Clyde R. Nachand, 67; Stephen Punch, 52; and Daniel L. Butler, 35. Dayle Downs-Totonchi, 47, died the next day, and Phoenix Fire Capt. Ernie Lizarraga, 52, remains in serious condition.

Investigators reported the toxicology report could take up to six weeks to be completed. Jakscht’s blood was drawn after he passed field sobriety tests. Coincidentally, the multiple fatality motorcycle wreck came just weeks after Jakscht was issued a traffic citation by Scottsdale police for failing to control his speed to avoid a collision at Shea Boulevard and Hayden Road.

The investigation is ongoing.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Arizona criminal lawyers.