Charles “Mask” Lewis Jr., one of the founders of the popular MMA clothing brand Tapout, was killed in an automobile accident early Wednesday morning in Newport Beach, California.
According to Lt. Jim Amormino, a public information officer with the Orange County Sherrif’s Department, a Newport Beach Police cruiser spotted Lewis’ red Ferrari and a white Porsche driving recklessly on the southbound side of Jamboree Road at 12:57 AM.
“The end of the accident was witnessed by one of our on-duty officers,” said Lt. Fox of the NBPD. “What the officer saw — he was driving in the opposite direction –- he saw two vehicles out of control, spinning around. One, a red Ferrari hit the curb, struck a pole and broke in half.”
Lewis’ Ferrari then hopped the curb and hit a streetlight, tearing the car completely in half. After coming to a brief stop, the Porsche fled the scene.
The Newport Beach paramedics pronounced Lewis dead on site. A female, who was later identified as Lewis’ girlfriend, was ejected from the car and rushed to Western Medical Center. She is believed to be in stable condition.
Newport Beach officers later spotted Jeffrey David Kirby, a 51-year-old resident of Costa Mesa, California, and Lynn Marie Nabozny, a 32-year-old Newport Beach resident, walking away from the Porsche a few blocks away from the scene. After further questioning, it was determined that Kirby was driving the car at the time of the accident.
Kirby was arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and taken to the Newport Beach Police Department. Nabozny was arrested for public intoxication, however was released on Wednesday morning.
Kirby’s bail is currently set at one million dollars. The results of a blood alcohol test that was administered at the police department will play a key role in determining Kirby’s fate.
Here is a video clip from the local Fox News website reporting on the accident.
The flamboyant and friendly Lewis was just 45-years of age.
(UPDATED 3PM PST):
Wednesday afternoon, Tapout Clothing released the following statement regarding their fallen confidant:
“It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we must regretfully confirm the passing of our beloved friend, brother and co-founder Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis following a car accident that occurred last night. We are currently in the process of setting up a memorial service in his honor and will release more details as they become available.
“Many thanks to all for the outpouring of blessings and well-wishing during this incredibly difficult time.”