Survivors still mourning while awaiting re-trial verdict

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Sandra Nachand is not ashamed to admit she is still in therapy to cope with the sudden loss of her husband of 43 years.

Clyde Nachand, 67, was one of four people killed in a horrific crash in 2010 on the Carefree Highway.

The dump truck, driven by Michael Jakscht, slammed into group of motorcyclists as they were stopped at a red light. 

Tests taken after the deadly crash showed Jakscht had methamphetamine in his system. Aside from the four deaths, four to six other people were seriously injured.

"He made some bad choices and we've been living with the consequences of his bad choices and that's been difficult. It's altered my world. It's altered our children's lives," Nachand said.

Jakscht was tried for murder in 2011. During that trial he took the stand in his own defense. His lawyers argued there were problems with the brakes on his truck. The jury in that trial was deadlocked, and the judge declared a mistrial.

"We were so blindsided by the first trial. We thought it was so obvious. He was on meth. He killed four people, seriously injured six. It should be incredibly easy to convict him and when it came back a mistrial we were not at all prepared," Nachand said.

Prosecutors decided to retry Jakscht. This time he did not take the stand. Closing arguments in the case are set for Monday.

While Nachand chose not to attend either of the trials, her daughter, Susan Prestidge, has been in the courtroom.

"I wanted to hear the testimony myself, I wanted to be support for the other victims when they testified," Prestidge said.

Both women said it's incredibly difficult to explain how the tragedy has impacted their lives. Six weeks after the crash, one of the couple's daughter got married. Clyde was looking forward to walking her down the aisle.

"And so I did. We walked together holding hands, very bittersweet. Happy about the event but it was so obvious the hole that was present," Nachand said.

Prestidge described her dad as a loving father who was very hands on. Prestidge said her dad went to all her and her sisters' events and helped build her baby's crib. She also said he made it a point to come over to have breakfast with her daughter several times a week.

"He didn't miss out on life's big moments and life's small moments. He knew that coming to have breakfast with her would leave a mark with her and it absolutely did," Prestidge said. 

Both women are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best regarding the verdict in the second trial.

Their frustration lies in the law. There is no "legal limit" for drugs, so prosecutors have to prove Jakscht was impaired by the meth he had in his system and that his impairment directly resulted in the crash.

"I think if he's found guilty it will give us a sense of justice having been served. Either way it's not going to bring him (Clyde) back. We're always going to have this hole," Nachand said.

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