Posted On: April 13, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

Dump Truck Driver Arrested on Suspicion of Drugged Driving Following Truck Crash that Killed Four Motorcyclists

Police have arrested Michael Jakscht on suspicion of driving under the influence of methamphetamines during a dump truck crash on March 25 that killed four motorcyclists and injured five others. Criminal charges against the 46-year-old trucker include seven counts of endangerment, five counts of aggravated assault, and four counts of manslaughter. More charges may be brought against the him.

Killed in the dump truck accident were riders Dayle Veronica Downs-Totonchi, 47, Clyde R. Nachand, 67, Daniel L. Butler, 35, and Stephen Punch, 52. One of the riders who survived the truck crash, Phoenix Fire Capt. Ernie Lizarraga sustained head injuries. He was admitted to the hospital in serious condition. Another rider who survived the wreck, Jason Anania, bruised his back, shattered his leg, and hurt his shoulder.

According to, the riders, who were sitting at a stoplight, were dragged at least 50 yards after they were rear-ended by the dump truck. Three of the motorcyclists ended up trapped under the truck.

Jakscht sustained minor injuries. According to USA Today, one woman who rushed to the accident site says that he told her that he had been doing paperwork when the truck accident happened. Police have not confirmed that the trucker ever said this.

The dump truck driver had received a citation in 2005 for operating a truck with excess weight. In 2006, he was cited for having accessories or parts operating in an improper or unsafe condition. Last year Jakscht was cited for failing to inspect emergency equipment, not conducting a pre-trip inspection, and lack of a fire extinguisher. He also has two speeding tickets that have not yet been resolved.

Chicago, Illinois Dump Truck Accidents
It is important that you contact a Chicago truck accident law firm as soon as possible to explore your legal options. In the event that you have a truck crash case on your hands, your Cook County injury attorney can begin working with experts to preserve and examine the evidence.

Dump-truck driver arrested in fatalities, The Arizona Republic, April 7, 2010

Driver in fatal motorcycle wreck arrested, victim speaks out,, April 8, 2010
Two Arizonans, La. man killed in truck-motorcycle crash, USA Today, March 26, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Truck Safety Coalition

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