The crash, which involved four cars, occurred just north of State Route 204 at approximately 10:45 p.m.
Trooper Mark Francis said a car headed north on the roadway crossed the yellow line and crashed into an oncoming car, head on. Two other vehicles then crashed into the wreckage.
The causing driver, who became trapped in his car, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, a man in his 20s, has not been identified.
A woman who was riding in the same car was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.
The driver of the second car was taken by ambulance to the same hospital in critical condition, according to Lake Stevens Fire Battalion Chief Perry Putnam.
The driver of the third car was treated by medics at the scene.
The cause of the crash has not been determined.
The affected stretch of SR 9 was expected to be closed for several hours for investigation.