A driver died and a Eureka police officer was injured trying to rescue him from a fiery crash in eastern Missouri, authorities said.

EUREKA — A driver died and a Eureka police officer was injured trying to rescue him from a fiery crash in eastern Missouri, authorities said. 

The crash happened Monday morning, when a car crossed the center line on Old Highway 66 in Eureka and collided head-on with a semitrailer, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The impact caused a gas tank on one of the vehicles to explode, engulfing both vehicles in flames. The driver of the car — later identified as 32-year-old Joshua Townsend — was trapped inside. 

Officer Mark Tinkham suffered minor injuries as he tried to extinguish the flames and free Townsend, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. Townsend was later pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the truck, a 38-year-old man from Ballwin, was suffered minor injuries in the crash, authorities said.