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Gove County deputy in stable condition after accident

By The Hays Daily News

PARK -- A Gove County deputy is in stable condition after his vehicle struck a concrete crossover Thursday evening on Interstate 70.

Deputy Shawn R. Mesch, 36, was headed westbound on I-70 a mile east of Park in Gove County to assist a Kansas State trooper when he crossed into the center of the median to avoid hitting a 2009 Freightliner truck, according to Tod Hileman, public resource officer for the Kansas Highway Patrol.

It appeared, Hileman said, the semi pulled out in front of Mesch just as Mesch was attempting to pass it.

Mesch's 2010 Expedition struck a concrete crossover, went airborne and came to a stop at the median. Mesch was transported to Gove County Medical Center. He was reported in stable condition Friday morning by Tammy Hutchison, director of nursing.

Hileman said the KHP is seeing an increase in inattentive driving due to use of electronic and other devices within vehicles.

"All the things everybody's doing in their vehicle, seems like people are using their turn signals less," he said. "They're just pulling into passing lanes without looking 100 percent.

"You need to be aware of that when you're passing people."

In addition, motorists should be aware approaching law enforcement vehicles might be traveling at a high rate of speed. Motorists should avoid pulling into the passing lane in front of them, Hileman said.