The fatal crash happened in the earlier of two wrecks to plague the stretch of I-85 near Cole Mill Road, where two left lanes remained closed because of a later crash until about 10 p.m..
The first crash happened just before 11:30 a.m. Durham Police said a southbound 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV driven by Alexander Malykin, 42, of Durham crashed into the back of a southbound tractor-trailer driven by Daniel Blythe, 45, of Murfreesboro.
Both vehicles were in the far right lane when the collision happened.
Malykin was taken to the hospital, where he died. Blythe was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
Drugs and alcohol did not appear to be factors in the crash, according to investigators. No charges have been filed and the crash remains under investigation.
It wasn't immediately clear how many vehicles were involved or the extent of any injuries in the second crash.