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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. – Two people died Tuesday after a head-on accident on Highway 21 in Jefferson County.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says 82-year-old Mary E. Burke of St. Louis was driving a 2000 Toyota Camry north in the southbound lanes north of Old Highway 21 at the Shady Valley interchange at 12:23 p.m. when she hit a 1994 GMC Sonoma driven by 25-year-old James R. Sybert of De Soto head-on.

Sybert's truck traveled off the left side of the road while Burke's car came to a rest on the roadway before bursting into flames. Burke was pronounced dead at the scene.

Emergency officials took Sybert to St. Anthony's, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Authorities say he was recently offered and accepted a position as a sheriff's deputy in Jefferson County. He had not yet begun his job duties.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report, Sybert was wearing a seatbelt, but Burke was not.

There's no word yet on why Burke was traveling in the wrong direction.

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