INDEPENDENCE, MN – Crews remain on the scene of a two-vehicle fatal accident that took place in Independence Tuesday afternoon at about 3:45 p.m. Highway 12 remains closed and is expected to be closed into the evening hours as investigation takes place.
West Hennepin Public Safety Director Ray McCoy said the crash involved a cement truck and a van, and took place in the 6500 block of Highway 12 (just west of Hennepin County Road 90). Responding officers found a fire had resulted from the crash and had engulfed the van. The fire also started an adjacent grass fire, which was extinguished, McCoy added.
“The preliminary indications from the crash is that a vehicle crossed over into the eastbound lane and hit a cement truck,” McCoy said. At the scene, a Cemstone cement truck was observed on its side. McCoy said the cement truck was traveling eastbound and the mini van was traveling westbound.
This is the fourth personal-injury crash in this stretch of Highway 12 in the last several weeks, and is the first fatality. McCoy was not able to give details on the number of victims in this accident and said authorities are investigating how many people may have been in the mini van. There is one confirmed fatality.
In addition to West Hennepin Public Safety, officers from Orono, Medina, and Minnetrista police departments and Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office responded, along with firefighters and first responders from Delano, Maple Plain, Loretto, Hamel, and Long Lake. North Memorial Ambulance Service and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner were also on scene. The Minnesota State Patrol reconstruction unit is investigating the crash. An update is expected later this evening. Watch this website (www.delanoheraldjournal.com) for additional information as it is made available.