The accident happened shortly before 4:30 p.m. when a northbound Honda driven by Tyreic Elyja Hemphill, of Durham, crossed the median and drove into the path of a southbound Oldsmobile driven by 36-year-old Patrick Bailey, of Durham.
Police say Bailey tried to avoid the crash but was unable to avoid a collision. Both vehicles went down an embankment.
Hemphill was trapped inside his vehicle and had to be extricated by firefighters. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Hemphill was a student at Jordan High School in Durham.
Bailey was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
The accident remains under investigation.
Speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the accident.