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Driver in Fatal Phoenix Motorcycle Crash Booked

by Michael Ferraresi – Apr. 6, 2010 06:49 PM
The Arizona Republic

Phoenix police arrested a 46-year-old man on suspicion of driving under the influence of methamphetamine in the March 25 wreck in which his dump truck rear-ended a group of motorcyclists at a red light, leaving four dead and others hospitalized.

Michael Jakscht walked silently from police headquarters Tuesday, his chin to his chest, as officers took him to be booked at Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail on four counts of manslaughter, five counts of aggravated assault and seven counts of endangerment

The collision at Carefree Highway and 27th Avenue prompted outcries from the Arizona motorcyclist community as biker groups and safety advocates called the police department for answers.

Toxicology results take up to six weeks in most criminal investigations, according to police. Jakscht’s blood sample, which police drew after he passed field sobriety tests, was made a priority.

“In this case, to get the result, so he doesn’t drive more or drive impaired, it was the department’s decision to make it a priority,” Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump said.

Investigators said Jakscht, who lives in Scottsdale, could face an additional impaired driving charge, and they are looking into the possibility that Jakscht was high on illegal drugs at the time of his arrest Tuesday near the Arizona 51 and Highland Avenue.

Blue Sky Sanitation, the company whose truck Jakscht was driving March 25, declined comment. The 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.
The Carefree Highway wreck came two weeks after Jakscht was cited by Scottsdale police for failing to control his speed to avoid a collision at Shea Boulevard and Hayden Road. The police accident report detailed how Jakscht, driving a pickup truck in his name, struck a stopped vehicle

 The Carefree Highway wreck came two weeks after Jakscht was cited by Scottsdale police for failing to control his speed to avoid a collision at Shea Boulevard and Hayden Road. The police accident report detailed how Jakscht, driving a pickup truck in his name, struck a stopped vehicle

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