The family of Joyce Meeks has filed a legal claim against the state, saying officials need to be held responsible for the prisoner who was allowed to drive a state-owned van.

The claim is the first step toward a lawsuit for the death of Meeks.  She was killed on June 5 when a van driven by inmate Jeremy Dobbe plowed into her minivan.

Meeks' son, Martell Buchanan, says his family wants answers about why officials let Dobbe drive other inmates to and from work-release assignments. Dobbe is serving time for possession of methamphetamine and has past convictions for DUI and reckless driving.

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services had allowed inmates to drive the vans since 1985, but the program has since been suspended.