What to do when you're dealing with erratic drivers - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

What to do when you're dealing with erratic drivers

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By: Kayla Bremer
kbremer@klkntv.com

The state suspends the inmate driver program.  It allowed inmates to drive state–owned vans to shuttle other inmates to and from work–release.  But after a fatal crash on Tuesday involving an inmate, the program is under review.

This all follows Tuesday's fatal crash involving a prison van.

It's the second fatal crash recently where calls were made to 911 before they happened with people reporting an erratic driver.

The death of Joyce Meeks is still fresh in everyone's minds after Tuesday night's tragic accident.

Police say she was killed after inmate, 35–year–old Jeremy Dobbe smashed into her vehicle near 18th and Van Dorn. He was on his way to pick up another inmate from work release.

Police say just moments before the crash, several 911 calls came in reporting a person speeding and driving erratically.

"It seemed like they were drunk driving to me cause they were swerving," accident witness George Weaver Jr. said.  "They swerved once, I thought they were just playing."

Law enforcement officials say those people did the right thing by calling 911.

"Really what we want is them to be a good witness, to call dispatch who are very professional and will know exactly what to do cause each case is different," Chief Deputy Jeff Bliemeister said.

In a similar case on June 11th, 51–year–old Bob Hanes was killed after the ambulance he was driving was hit by a truck.

Officials say multiple calls came in about that driver also driving recklessly.

Chief Deputy Jeff Bliemeister of the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office says they routinely get calls about erratic drivers.  He says it's important to give as much detail as possible about the driver and the car.

"If there's multiple callers that are seeing this incident, dispatch will relay that on all the radio channels, the more likelihood that there's going to be an officer in the vicinity that can attempt to intervene in the erratic driving."

Bliemeister says never follow anyone you see driving out of control.  Report it, then stay away and be a defensive driver.

As far as Tuesday's fatal crash, Dobbe, who has prior convictions of DUI and reckless driving, has not been charged in the case.  We're still waiting to hear what led up to the collision.

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