The northbound highway lanes could remain closed for most of the afternoon, Lynnwood police Cmdr. Jim Nelson said.
The crash occurred about 10:30 a.m. in the 17100 block of the highway. A woman in her 70s was southbound when she crossed into northbound traffic for unknown reasons, Nelson said.
Her vehicle then struck a northbound vehicle. The woman in her 70s died at the scene.
The other driver, a woman believed to be in her mid-40s, was taken to the hospital. Her injuries were believed to be serious. Both drivers were alone in their vehicles, Nelson said.
The investigation was ongoing.
At this time, it is unclear what caused the southbound vehicle to veer into northbound traffic, he said. The roadway at the time of the collision was bare and dry.
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