Stanley Gregory Russell, 21, a native of Washington and a 1977 graduate of McKinley Senior High School, died Sunday from head injuries received when his automobile collided with a tractor-trailer truck in Warren County, N.C.

A spokesman for the highway police said Mr. Russell's vehicle left the road and collided with the truck, which was parked on the shoulder of Interstate 85 in Warren County. Mr. Russell was alone in the automobile and there were no other injuries.

A trombonist, he was studying music at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he was about to begin his junior year.

Mr. Russell was a member of the McKinley High School Marching Band and the Elks Band. He also played with the D.C. Youth Orchestra's Wind Ensemble, which won a bronze medal for the orchestra in a 1978 competition held in Canada. He also toured Italy that year with the North Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra. The previous year, he participated in the Eastman Music Festival in Greensboro, N.C.

He attended Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Washington.

Survivors include his parents, Oswald S. and Mary Louise Holston Russell, and a sister, Cynthia, all of the home in Washington; and a brother, Roger F., also of Washington.