Pictures from Chopper 11 HD showed the cab of one truck was completely demolished by the impact.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol said a tractor-trailer owned by J.B. Hunt trucking out of Lowell, Arizona was headed east on Highway 64 when it came to a stop in the right lane near mile marker 432.
A second truck owned by Preferred Transport & Distribution Inc. out of Austell, Georgia slammed into the back of the first truck.
The driver of the second truck was killed. The person was not identified pending next of kin. The driver of the first truck was taken to WakeMed with non life-threatening injuries.
Investigators said they were trying to learn why the first truck stopped.