The crash happened Saturday around 11:30 a.m. in the 800 block of Amelia Church Rd.
Police say Kristy Tamayo, 19, of Clayton, was driving a Honda Civic when it ran off the road, overcorrected, then crossed the center line, colliding with a GMC SUV.
Tamayo sustained serious injuries. Ritacco, the passenger, was a senior at Clayton High School.
The school's principal, Clint Eaves, said that she had planned to attend culinary school after graduation.
She was particularly interested in Food and Nutrition and had recently assisted in organizing a student sponsored faculty luncheon.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Tania. She will be greatly missed by her teachers and friends," said Eaves.
Starting Monday, grief counselors will be available at the school for students and staff
The driver of the SUV was Larissa Reardon, 37, also of Clayton. She and two passengers, Dominique Reardon, 14, and Kyle Reardon, 8, were taken to WakeMed by ambulance.
Their conditions have not been updated at this time.
The road stayed closed for about an hour and a half following the accident Clayton Police are investigating the incident.