Highway Patrol said 21-year-old Christopher May was driving east with two passengers down the road when May crossed the center line and hit another car before flipping.
One of the passengers, 23-year-old Matthew Achterman, was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the car. He later died.
May and another passenger, 17-year-old Cody Nelson Arrington, were wearing seatbelts and were transported to Wake Med and released.
The driver of the other car was also treated and released.
May is charged with DWI, but troopers said those charges will be upgraded to felony death by motor vehicle.