The collision, involving a Renault Clio and a Fiat Punto, happened at around 7.30am on Tuesday on Codnor Lane in Riddings, near to the Golden Valley caravan site.
A 65-year-old woman, who was a passenger in the Punto, died in the crash and four people required hospital treatment for their injuries.
Officers are keen to speak to anyone who was travelling in the area at the time, and particularly drivers with dash cam footage.
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Anyone with information is asked to contact police, quoting the reference number 18000586398 and the name of the officer in the case, DC Lauren Siddall, by calling 101 or via the online contact form at www.derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.