TapouT Founder Charles 'Mask' Lewis Jr. Dies in Ferrari Crash (Photos)

newport beach crash ferrari splits in two

A pioneering mogul in mixed martial arts and co-founder of TapouT clothing line, Charles 'Mask' Lewis Jr. died when his 2004 Ferrari Modena crashed after it and a 1977 Porsche began spinning out of control in Newport Beach at 1:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The driver of the Porsche left the scene shortly after the crash but was apprehended a short time later.  Jeffrey David Kirby, 51 of Costa Mesa was arrested and remains in jail on $2 million bail on suspicion of vehicular homicide while intoxicated.  His passenger, Lynn Marie Nobozny, 32, of Newport Beach, was also arrested and later released.

The Ferrari hit a curb, knocked over a light pole that fell on it, tearing the vehicle into pieces, scattered over a span of 30 feet.  Lewis, 45, was dead at the scene.  His girlfriend, Lacy Lynn White was thrown from the vehicle and remains hospitalized with a fractured elbow and other extensive injuries.

An officer who came upon the crash right after it occurred, Police Lt. Craig Fox said, "we believe they were going fast based on the skids and the vehicle damage.  The Porsche was alongside the Ferrari when it hit the curb."   The Porsche had moderate damage, indicating that it had collided with the Ferrari.

Lewis started TapouT in 1997 and grew the brand from a t-shirt business into a successful clothing line that is sold in 20,000 stores worldwide.  The business, located in Grand Terrace in San Bernardino County, took in $50 million in revenue last year.

Besides the clothing line, Mask and his business partners Dan Caldwell 'Punkass' and Skyskrape also star in a reality television show TapouT on the Versus channel.  They roam around the country scouting mixed martial arts fighters to train and sponsor.

TapouT website has the following message posted:  "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."

More photos below.  See Nick Adenhart, Anaheim Angels' Pitcher crash photos here.

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full view crash scene

More photos at OC Register here.