The HGV and three cars - a Volkswagen Polo, a Peugeot 107 and a BMW - collided on the M6 between Junctions 16 and 17 at Sandbach in Cheshire at around 5.15pm on Friday.
Cheshire Police said a 19-year-old woman from Dudley, who was a passenger in the Polo, was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries but later died. The driver and another passenger in the Polo, both men in their 20s, remain in hospital with serious injuries.
Officers arrested a 27-year-old man from Rossendale, Lancashire, on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He has since been bailed pending further enquiries.
Police are now appealing for anyone with information or dashcam footage from around the time of the collision to come forward.
Anyone who may have witnessed the collision is urged to contact Cheshire Police via the Cheshire Police website quoting IML 1426483 or call 101.