Inmate driver charged with Manslaughter - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Inmate driver charged with Manslaughter

Posted: Updated: July 24, 2013 03:13 PM CDT

By: Brittany Paris
bparis@klkntv.com

It's been a month since the fatal crash at 18th and Van Dorn.

Inmate driver, Jeremy Dobbe, 35, crashed into 47-year-old Joyce Meeks' car, killing her. Meeks' family have a lot of questions.

"We got to just move forward and try to get the state of Nebraska to show some responsibilities for their actions," Martell Buchanan, Meeks' son, said.

Lancaster County Attorney, Joe Kelly, gave the family a few answers on Wednesday, charging Dobbe with manslaughter in the death of Meeks.

As for the blood and urine tests? Prosecutors said they show Dobbe did not have alcohol or any substances in his system.

In particular, a synthetic marijuana known as K2. Dobbe admitted to taking it when he was in the hospital after the crash.

Court documents said Dobbe was swerving and ran several red lights right before he pummeled into Meeks. 911 calls came in that night, detailing his erratic driving.

"I live at 14th and Van Dorn Street and I just saw a van pass here going, like, probably close to 80 miles an hour," one caller said.

Police estimate Dobbe was driving 90 MPH when he hit Meeks' car and documents show he didn't apply the brakes.

Last week, her family filed a claim against the state

"Giving the keys to an inmate who has a history of convictions for driving is beyond me," Tim Cavanagh, Meeks' family attorney, said. "It's clearly negligent and reckless."

Dobbe does have prior DUI and reckless driving convictions. He's being held at that state's department of Correctional Services.

An arraignment date for Dobbe is set for August 1. If convicted, he faces 1 to 20 years in prison.

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