State corrections officials and key leaders in the Unicameral say they may have to revisit policies that allowed an inmate behind the wheel of a state van this week, a van that was involved in a fatal collision in Lincoln.
Authorities say 35-year-old Jeremy Dobbe, who was serving time on a drug conviction, was on his way to pick up inmates at a work release facility when the van he was driving crossed the center line and smashed nearly head-on into a minivan driven by a nurse’s aide, killing her. That woman, 47-year-old Joyce Meeks of Lincoln, was a matter of two blocks from home.
Witnesses say Dobbe was speeding and driving erratically and Lincoln police say they’d received several calls but officers weren’t able to intercept the prison van before the accident occurred. Dobbe was injured in the crash and was still hospitalized, at last report, with non-life-threatening injuries.
Nebraska prison officials say they’ll consider revisiting the rules that permitted Dobbe to perform the duties of driving other inmates to and from their work release duty assignments.
Reports also say at least one legislator is demanding answers from officials in the prison system. Senator Ernie Chambers, of Omaha, is a member of the Unicameral’s Judiciary Committee, and says he wants to know how the inmate drivers are chosen.
No charges are filed against Dobbe in correspondence with the fatal accident.