Highway officials said the incident occurred at 8:58 p.m. when a green Mazda traveling north on Buffalo Road crossed the center line and collided with a white Honda.
The driver of the Mazda, Issac Carpenter, 55, and Ashley Koziak, both of Wendell, died at the scene. The driver of the Honda, Michael Frizzelle, of Zebulon, was taken to WakeMed with non-threatening injuries.
The Highway Patrol told ABC11 that the two killed were not wearing seatbelts and that officers suspect alcohol was a factor.
The road was closed for several hours. It reopened shortly after 11:30 p.m.
No charges have been filed. The Archer Lodge Fire Department, Johnston County EMS, and NCSHP are investigating.