She was a passenger in a Land Rover which collided with a Ford Fiesta and a Ford Puma on the southbound carriageway near Leeming Bar at 2.20am on Monday.
The driver of the Land Rover, also in his early 70s, was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
The driver of the Ford Puma was uninjured and the driver of the Ford Fiesta sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries.
A 22-year-old man from Malton has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, drink driving and drug driving. He remains in custody.
The road was closed for several hours this morning but has now re-opened.
Anyone who witnessed the collision, has any dashcam footage, or who was travelling in the area at the time is asked to contact police.
Dial 101, press 2 and ask to speak to PC1073 Sarah Burton or email [email protected]
Please quote reference number 12210223751 when passing on any information.