It happened near Selma just south of Floral Avenue Friday night.
Investigators say the 33-year-old Madera man had stolen beer from a supermarket, and was being chased by security officers when he ran onto Highway 99.
The suspect tried to cross the southbound side of the freeway when he was hit by two cars.
He died at the scene. One of the cars that hit the suspect also crashed into the middle divider.
The people inside suffered minor injuries and were treated at a local hospital.