Pictures from the accident at U.S. 1 near Capital Boulevard showed the big-rig lying on its side.
Troopers said 41-year-old Earl Horton, of Zebulon, was driving the loaded tractor-trailer north on US 1. Sandra Hewitt, 53, of Wake Forest, was driving a Toyota passenger car west on Fish Stallings Road. Officials said Hewitt was stopped, then drove through a red light and was hit by the tractor-trailer.
Hewitt was killed in the collision.
Neither driver had any passengers in their vehicles.
The accident happened at 7:21 a.m., and US1 did not reopen until 12:30 p.m.