Charles “Mask” Lewis was a well-known name in mixed martial arts. He sponsored many fighters, but he’s probably best remembered for launching the MMA-influenced “TapouT” apparel line.
Sadly, Lewis won’t be selling any more shirts, as he was killed in a violent car wreck in Southern California early Wednesday morning.
Ari Bloomekatz of the LOS ANGELES TIMES has the fatal details:
A Newport Beach Police Department officer who witnessed the wreck and saw a red Ferrari and a white Porsche “spinning out of control” on Jamboree Road between Bison Avenue and East Bluff Drive at 12:57 a.m., Newport Beach Lt. Craig Fox said. The Ferrari “hit the curb and then collided with a pole.” The Porsche came to a stop at the scene for a few seconds and then sped away, Fox said.
“It was terrible. It was extensive damage to the vehicle,” Fox said, adding that the Ferrari appeared to have split in half.
I would say so.
Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene. A woman also traveling in the Ferrari was ejected out of the car during the crash, and was taken to a hospital, where she’s in stable condition. Police aren’t sure if it was Lewis or the woman that was driving.
As for the Porsche that fled the scene, police found the car a short time later - and also saw a man & a woman walking away from the vehicle.
“The vehicle had moderate damage and appeared to be consistent with the car involved in the accident on Jamboree,” Fox said. “They determined that the male had been driving the Porsche, and he was arrested” for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, he said.
Police identified the driver of the Porsche as Jeffrey David Kirby, 51, of Costa Mesa, and said his bail was set at $1 million. Newport Beach resident Lynn Marie Nabozny, 32, was a passenger in the Porsche and was arrested for public intoxication. She was released about 7:45 a.m. and will not be formally charged, Fox said. He said the investigation is ongoing but that police identified skid marks at the scene “consistent with excessive speeding.”
So, were Lewis & Kirby engaged in some impromptu street drag race? Or in some game of chicken? Or were they trying to drive each other off the road? The only thing we do know is that Mask Lewis is now dead.
Michael David Smith of FANHOUSE shares this statement released from the TapouT company on their fallen leader:
“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.”