Truck driver who killed motorcyclists gets sentencing date

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A sentencing date has been set for the truck driver who killed four people after crashing into a group of motorcycle riders in 2010.

Michael Jakscht, 49, will learn how much time he will spend behind bars on November 16.

Jakscht was driving a 23,000-pound dump truck in March of 2010 when he failed to stop at a traffic light along the Carefree Highway and ran into a group of motorcyclists at the light.

Four people were killed, and five others were injured in the accident.

Methamphetamine was found in Jakscht’s system at the time of the crash. His lawyer, however, had argued that Jakscht wasn’t under the influence at the time of the accident, and that the incident was caused by a mechanical failure in the truck.

Jakscht’s first trial took place in 2011. It ended with a hung jury deadlocked at 9 to 3 for acquittal.

The Maricopa County attorney’s office chose to retry the case, and in August Jakscht was found guilty of four counts of manslaughter.

He was also found guilty of five counts of aggravated assault, one count of endangerment imminent death, and three counts of endangerment physical injury.