WICHITA — The man who died after he crashed while fleeing from Wichita police early Sunday morning has been identified as 33-year-old Marcellas Childs.
Officers responding to the report of a domestic violence case involving a weapon in southeast Wichita spotted the suspect's vehicle leaving the area of Harry and Rock Road shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday, Lt. Ken Vaughn said.
Officers attempted to pull the pickup over, but the driver did not stop. A chase began and went on for eight minutes "at a high rate of speed," Vaughn said, before the pursuit was called off at 21st and Broadway.
Childs turned west on 21st and drove to Arkansas, where he turned south. Officers then observed "a bright flash" in the area of 15th and Arkansas, Vaughn said.
Upon arriving in that area, they discovered the pickup had crashed after hitting a utility pole where the street dead-ends, he said.
The impact snapped the utility pole off and knocked down power lines, which caught the pickup on fire. Officers pulled Childs from the burning vehicle and learned he was not breathing.
He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:11 a.m.
Investigators aren't sure how fast Childs was going when he hit the utility pole, but the stump still in the ground had been moved six inches by the force of the impact.
To do that, "he had to hit it at a pretty high speed," Vaughn said.
Childs' pickup came to rest on the North High School tennis courts after it snapped off the utility pole, Vaughn said.
Childs had been identified as the suspect in an incident in southeast Wichita earlier that morning. A 41-year-old woman reported that her boyfriend had choked her and then threatened her 19-year-old son with a gun when he tried to intervene at a house in the 8700 block of East Lakeland Circle.
The investigation into the incident continues, police said.