The crash happened about 9:30 a.m. Monday on southbound U.S. 131 in Kent County's Plainfield Township, about seven miles north of Grand Rapids.
Sheriff's Sgt. Roger Zoppa said the woman slammed on her car's brakes when she saw the deer. Zoppa said a car behind the woman was unable to stop and rear-ended the woman's car.
The woman ended up pinned in her car in a ditch and died at the scene, Zoppa said. Her name wasn't immediately released.
Zoppa said two people in the second car were taken to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids and treated for minor injuries.