The collision was reported about 6:30 p.m. near Index. The two deputies were eastbound in separate cars. They were following a suspected drunken driver, said Shari Ireton, a spokeswoman for the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team.
Police first received 911 calls about the man's driving about 5 p.m. in the Sultan area, said Aaron Snell, an Everett police officer who also speaks for the SMART team. Sheriff's deputies and Washington State Patrol troopers were unable to locate the man at that time, Snell said.
They found him about 90 minutes later and attempted to pull him over. The driver reportedly took off, and the deputies pursued, Snell said.
The driver swerved into oncoming traffic and struck a fourth vehicle, Ireton said. The deputies' vehicles then also hit the other cars.
The driver in the car that deputies had been pursuing died at the scene. Both deputies suffered minor injuries. The fourth driver, an 86-year-old Edmonds man, was taken to a hospital and was expected to survive, Snell said.
The SMART team combines detectives from around the county. The team investigates cases where officers use fatal force.
The highway remained closed until early Tuesday.
It was the second head-on fatal crash on U.S. 2 in Snohomish County in recent days. Saturday's crash took place about three miles away, officials said.
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