Christopher George Locklear, 45, of Pressley Lane perished in the head-on collision, according to North Carolina Highway Patrol Sgt. Phillip Collins.
The passenger in Locklear’s car, Patrick Lee, 45, of Railroad Avenue in McColl, SC, was airlifted to McLeod Regional Medical Center in critical condition.
The identities of the occupants in the first vehicle have not been released pending notification of the family.
Highway Patrol received the call for a wreck at US-501 and Bethea Road in Maxton, NC, around 8 p.m., according to Collins. The scene of the accident is three miles from Stewartsville Volunteer Fire Department.
A Kia with three occupants was traveling east on US 501 when it crossed the center line and hit a Ford Mustang being driven by Locklear, the patrol said. The Kia then veered off the road to the left and struck the ditch before catching fire, officials said.
It is not clear whether the passengers in the Kia died as a result of the fire.
According to Collins, the driver of the Kia was believed to be exceeding the speed limit and driving recklessly before crossing the center line.
Locklear is a native of McColl, SC, and his Facebook page lists him as the owner of Chris’ Auto Body Shop in McColl.
Friends and family expressed their grief on social media in the wake of the news.
“So many memories growing up, can’t believe I’m writing and seeing Rip Chris Locklear! You will truly be missed. Things will never be the same on Polston Street again without you at the garage,” wrote Lynn Cummings on Facebook.
Lee’s Facebook page was flooded with well wishes for his recovery.
“Please keep my family in mind today. Prayers are appreciated for my cousin Patrick Lee. He’s a fighter and we are all pulling for him to have a full recovery,” wrote Keith Todd.