The collision on the A96 Elgin to Lhanbryde road near Waulkmill in Moray involved a white Peugeot 208 car travelling west and a white Fiat Scudo van heading east.
Shane Reginald Drury, 29, who was driving the car, was taken by ambulance to Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin but died from his injuries, police said.
A 47-year-old man who was driving the van suffered serious injuries and was taken by air ambulance to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
His 52-year-old front seat passenger also suffered serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to Dr Gray’s Hospital.
Police are appealing for information about the crash, which happened at around 6pm on Tuesday.
Sergeant Colin Matheson, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who died and the men who were seriously injured at this difficult time.
“We have spoken to a number of witnesses but would like to hear from anyone who saw the collision, or saw either vehicle beforehand, and has not yet spoken to us, to please get in touch by calling 101 and quoting incident number 3468 of the 23rd of April.”
The road was closed for over seven hours while police investigated.