Manassas man dies in wreck while fleeing deputy, police report

MANASSAS — A 26-year-old city man died instantly when his sports car slammed into a street light at the intersection of Godwin Drive and Winged Elm Court while speeding away from a Prince William County deputy sheriff, Manassas police said late Tuesday night.

Omar Kenneth Vannoy of the 9200 block of Azure Court was found dead in his 1983 Porsche 911 when Manassas police, fire and rescue crews reached his mangled car at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, said Sgt. Marc J. Woolverton, a police spokesman.

Vannoy, who was alone in the car, had been pulled over for speeding at the corner of Godwin Drive and Hastings Drive by Prince William County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Barlow just minutes before the crash.

When Barlow got out of his car and began walking toward Vannoy’s car, the Porsche sped away, Woolverton said.

“We don’t know why he did that,” Woolverton said, “We’re trying to determine that right now. It’s an active investigation.”

Manassas resident Sandy Teets said he was turning left onto Godwin Drive from Hastings at the time that Vannoy sped away.

“It was unbelievable,” Teets said. “When the police officer was getting out of the car, he just took off. He was flying down Godwin. I heard that when he went over a hill a mile down the road, he got airborne and slammed into the pole.”

Although Barlow did not pursue Vannoy, he followed where Vannoy had driven and found his car on the far side of the road, smashed into the pole, which snapped off at its base, Woolverton said.

Vannoy, wearing a seat belt, was dead, Woolverton said.

Cleanup crews removed the pole from the intersection later that night, he added.

Staff writer Adam H. Beasley can be reached at (703) 878-8065.