The collision, which involved three separate vehicles, happened on the A64 near Scagglethorpe at around 3pm yesterday (Monday).
Police have today confirmed that a Ryedale woman, in her 70s, has died following the crash.
Three other people were also injured.
The collision involved a black Kia Sportage, a silver Hyundai i20 car and a red Citroen Berlingo, which the woman who died was driving.
A man from West Yorkshire, also in his 70s, who was in the Kia was also seriously injured and remains in hospital today.
Police said the Kia had been travelling east towards Scarborough and the other vehicles west towards Malton.
The two people travelling in the Hyundai – a man and woman also in their 70s from Ryedale – suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital.
Traffic Constable Zoe Billings, investigating, said: “I’d appeal for anyone who witnessed the collision itself, or who saw any of the vehicles shortly before it happened, to get in touch with police.
“I’d also ask lorry drivers or anyone else who may have dashcam footage to make contact, as it may greatly help our investigation.
“This is clearly a difficult time for all those involved, and specially-trained family liaison officers are offering support to the family of the woman who has died.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference number 12170135141 when passing on information.