The Missouri State Highway Patrol encountered three fatal crashes within 24 hours of each other in Phelps and Pulaski counties earlier this week.

The first crash happened shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday approximately three miles south of Rolla on Highway O.

According to the MSHP report, Jimmie J. Gantz, 50, of Imperial, was pronounced dead at the scene after his 2005 Chevrolet Aveo crossed the center line and sideswiped another vehicle.

Aaron P. Pederson, 23, of Anutt, was the driver of the second vehicle in that crash, a 1997 Ford F250 pickup truck, and reported minor injuries for which he refused treatment at the scene.

The second fatal accident happened around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning in Pulaski County, killing 19-year-old Kyle D. Allen, of St. Robert.

According to the accident report, Allen and both of his passengers were ejected from the 1995 Chevrolet Silverado he was driving on Highway P in Laquey as it overturned.

Both passengers, Kyia R. Gan, 20, of Waynesville, and Ryan E. Pfeifer, 21, of Laquey, were listed as having serious injuries at the time of the crash.

The third accident involved an American Red Cross Blood Services van driver who travelled off of Interstate 44 and overturned after hitting barrier cables.

These recent incidents serve as a tragic reminder of the dangers that can come with driving - none of the drivers were wearing seatbelts.