The crash happened around midnight along southbound lanes of I-95.
Department of Transportation crews cleared the wreckage and poured sand on the road to absorb diesel fuel early Monday morning. Southbound lanes, which were blocked 8 miles south of Rocky Mount, reopened to traffic around 9 a.m.
Highway Patrol troopers said a truck hauling dead chickens plowed into the back of a tractor-trailer hauling cars.
Witnesses said the driver of truck hauling chickens sped up to about 85 mph and failed to hit the brakes before colliding with the tractor-trailer ahead of it.
Donald Reese Cain, 59, of Angier, died. He was driving the poultry truck. The driver of the car carrier was injured, but did not require medical treatment at the scene.
Four fire departments responded to the fire, which burned for about an hour. Six cars on the carrier are a complete loss.
Investigators said they will look into Cain's medical history to see if he had any condition that may have contributed to the crash.