Officers received a call of the head-on crash at 10:43 a.m. on northbound Highway 17 involving a Toyota 4Runner SUV and a compact sedan, according to the CHP.
One person involved in that crash has been pronounced dead and others suffered serious injuries, according to CHP Officer Sarah Jackson. The highway's northbound lanes are closed and Caltrans crews are on scene to manage southbound traffic, Jackson said.
Motorists continued to speed by the scene of the crash as crews worked to clear the area, prompting Caltrans crews to issue slow-down warnings, she said.
The CHP is advising northbound drivers to use alternate routes to get to Santa Cruz, such as state Highway 152, state Highway 1 or Soquel San Jose Road to Summit Road.
No time estimate was available for when the northbound lanes would reopen on Highway 17.