One person is dead after a van collided with a cement truck on a highway west of the Twin Cities on Tuesday afternoon.

Police responded to a crash about 3:30 p.m. in the 6700 block of Hwy. 12 in Independence, according to the West Hennepin Public Safety Department.

According to preliminary investigations, a van traveling westbound on Hwy. 12 crossed over the center line and hit a loaded cement truck traveling eastbound. An intense fire engulfed the van and the truck's cab.

The driver of the van died at the scene. The truck driver was taken to North Memorial Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

"This was a very tragic crash scene and a grim reminder when driving to have full attention on safe driving," said Director Ray McCoy of the West Hennepin Public Safety Department.

The crash caused Hwy. 12 to be closed for more than four hours.

The van driver's identity will be released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495; Twitter: @stribnorfleet