Rayan D. Mills, 22, of Durham, was westbound on N.C. Highway 54 at about 7 a.m. when he lost control of his 1997 Toyota and crossed into the eastbound lanes, authorities said. The Toyota knocked down trees, spun around and began heading backwards in the eastbound lanes.
A 2002 Saturn driven by Matthew Bergiwski, 24, of Carrboro, rear-ended the Toyota, and Mills was thrown through his driver's-side window, authorities said. He was taken to UNC Hospitals for treatment of serious head injuries, which authorities said weren't life-threatening.
None of the five people in the Saturn were injured, authorities said.
The accident blocked the intersection of N.C. Highway 54 at Barbee Chapel Road in Durham, creating extensive delays on the highway for commuters heading into or out of Chapel Hill.
Delays were reported on Barbee Chapel, Farrington and Stage Coach roads, and Chapel Hill officials urged drivers to avoid eastbound N.C. 54 between Fordham Boulevard and Interstate 40.
The highway was cleared by 10:30 a.m.