Investigators said that they believed 17-year-old Ciara Malloy's vehicle ran off Clayton Road and struck a tree between 1 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The said a passing motorist saw the vehicle in the woods around 4:45 a.m. and reported it.
Friends told ABC11 Sunday that Malloy, a senior at Josephine Dobbs Clement Early College High School in Durham, was pronounced dead at the scene.
There were no passengers inside the vehicle with her and no other vehicles were involved in the crash. Investigators said alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the accident.