PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The sanitation truck driver who ran into the back of a group of motorcyclists stopped at a stoplight in Phoenix on March 25 -- killing four of them and injuring five others -- has been arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the crash, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.
Police arrested truck driver Michael Jakscht, 46, on April 6 and booked him on four counts of manslaughter, five counts of aggravated assault and seven counts of endangerment.
Initial toxicology tests on blood drawn from Jakscht on the day of the crash show he had the illegal drug methamphetamine in his system, according to police. He could face an additional charge of impaired driving, police said.
Motorcyclists who died as a result of the crash were Daniel Butler, 35; Clyde Nachand, 67; Stephen Punch, 52; and Dale Downs-Totonchi, 47. Another motorcyclist, Phoenix Fire Capt. Ernie Lizarraga, 52, remains hospitalized suffering from injuries sustained in the crash.
"We commend the Phoenix Police Department for its diligence in pursuing this case, and for getting the initial toxicology results as quickly as possible," said Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations. "We understand that toxicology results normally take about six weeks to process, and the police were able to get initial results in this case in just two weeks.
"We again express our condolences on behalf of the AMA and its members to the families of those killed, and hope for a full recovery for those injured," Moreland said. "We will continue to watch this case closely."
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations.