Officers and medics responded to the scene, in the 1300 block of College Street, at about 6:55 a.m. after receiving 911 calls about a serious crash.
One victim, the driver of a white van, was found dead at the scene, said Sgt. Terence Brimmer of the Lacey police.
Two passengers in a light brown pickup sustained serious injuries and had to be extricated from the vehicle. One of those passengers and possibly both will be airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Brimmer said.
The driver of the brown pickup sustained minor injuries, along with the driver of a red pickup that was also involved in the crash.
A preliminary investigation found that the driver of the light brown pickup was headed south on College Street when she attempted to make a lane change and pass another vehicle.
At that point, the pickup driver lost control. She veered into oncoming traffic and collided with the white van, Brimmer said. The red pickup was traveling in another lane and was struck by the van.
One witness, Talena Rogers, said she heard the brown pickup's tires squealing before the crash, then watched as the pickup "did a 360."
"It was horrible," she said.
Brimmer said there is no indication so far that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.
College Street was closed for several hours between Lacey Boulevard and 14th Avenue SE during the accident cleanup and investigation.