After this week’s deadly crash in Lincoln, the state is suspending its inmate van driver program, effective today.
In a news release, Nebraska prison officials say a “careful and thorough review of the program is underway.” For now, Department of Correctional Services Staff will be used to transport inmates affected by this change.
No timeline is sited for a decision on whether the program may be revived or permanently scrapped.
On Tuesday, authorities say 35-year-old inmate Jeremy Dobbe 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. Dobbe was serving time on a drug conviction. Reports say Dobbe had several convictions for drunken and reckless driving.
Witnesses say Dobbe was speeding and driving erratically. Lincoln police say they had 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.
No charges are filed against Dobbe in correspondence with the fatal accident.