The incident began at about 9:50 p.m. as the 30-year-old man started to exit the Royal Casino at 13010 Highway 99 in South Everett, officials said.
Casino employees believed the man was trying to leave the building with some cards or chips belonging to the casino, so they attempted to restrain him. Those efforts failed and the man was able to flee from the casino.
The man then ran into traffic on Highway 99, and witnesses told the State Patrol it appeared he was deliberately trying to get in the way of cars. He then lowered himself to the pavement in a sitting or squatting position and was struck by an oncoming car, said Sgt. Chris Caiola of the State Patrol.
The man was rushed to Harborview Medical Center with severe injuries. Doctors were unable to save him, and he died a few hours later. He was later identified as Dahai Guan, 30, of Federal Way.
Caiola said the 37-year-old driver of the Chevy Metro that struck the man was not at fault.
"The individual that hit him has been completely cooperative, no signs of impairment, and just told us that he saw somebody in the middle of the road and was unable to stop in time," Caiola said.
Highway 99 was closed for a time for an investigation, but has since reopened.