T Nation

R.I.P. Mask

Since no one else has posted this yet…

http://msn.foxsports.com/boxing/story/9322180?MSNHPHCP&GT1=39002

TapouT co-founder, MMA sponsor dies in car crash

The mixed martial arts community lost one of its biggest personalities early Wednesday morning in a car crash in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Charles “Mask” Lewis, the 45-year-old co-founder of the TapouT apparel company, died when he lost control of his Ferrari and hit a lamp pole. Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a statement on its Web site, TapouT said, “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. … Many thanks to all for the outpouring of blessings and well-wishes during this incredibly difficult time.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that a Newport Beach Police Department officer witnessed the crash and saw Lewis’ red Ferrari and a white Porsche spinning out of control just before 1 a.m. Wednesday. The Ferrari then hit the curb and collided into a pole.

“It was terrible,” Newport Beach Lt. Craig Fox told the Times. “It was extensive damage to the vehicle.”

A woman in the Ferrari was ejected from the vehicle and was in stable condition at a local hospital. Police haven’t determined if she was the driver or passenger of the Ferrari, according to the Times.

Police later arrested the driver of the Porsche, Jeffrey David Kirby, and charged him with gross vehicular manslaughter. He was being held on $1 million bail.

There was a 50-mph limit on the road, but police believe both cars were traveling well above that limit, according to a report on KTLA.com.

The Newport Beach Police Department told FOXSports.com that Lewis’ car was a 2004 Modena Ferrari. That Modena can reach speeds of more than 180 mph and retails for almost $200,000.

Lewis and Dan “Punkass” Caldwell founded TapouT in 1997 as a clothing and MMA gear retailer. In addition to retail, the private company also signed deals with fighters, including Kimbo Slice, and is a sponsor of fight events.

[quote]Sifu wrote:

Police later arrested the driver of the Porsche, Jeffrey David Kirby, and charged him with gross vehicular manslaughter. He was being held on $1 million bail.
[/quote]
If Mask hit a pole and I think we can surmise both cars were speeding possibly racing, why is Jeffrey David Kirby being charged?

That last little paragraph was me, first paragraph sifu

I’m reading more from some other sources and it looks like the porsche driver was intoxicated and did not stay at the scene though he stopped a couple of blocks away. Those are good reasons to be arrested but still it doesn’t seem like he hit Mask’s car or caused the accident

Wow…the man was always blindly criticized for his persona,Mask. Add in the stigma of the wanna-be bad ass with a Tapout shirt. The man dedicated tons to the sport…and was a good businessman/entrepreneur. This actually hit a nerve more than I expected…such a loss. God Bless.

Pictures of vehicle:
http://msn.foxsports.com/boxing/pgStory?contentId=9323124#sport=MMA/Boxing&photo=9324680

I am anxious to see what details pan from this horrible accident.

Too bad, a pretty nice guy. Very enthusiastic and a die hard fan of the sport from way back.

A big loss the MMA community and to Mask’s family/friends. In Hawaii recently, a similar accident that split the vehicle and crushed it was allegedly going at least 100mph in a 35mph zone when it crashed killing 3 people/occupants. The Ferrari might have been going slower but still at a high rate of speed to split the vehicle. Luckily the passenger survived in an otherwise preventable tragedy.

RIP indeed. Heard about this earlier today. It happened just a few miles from me. It was Newport Beach, not Costa Mesa, btw.

OneMoreRep, anytime there is a death resulting from street racing the other driver is going to be charged, even if he wasn’t intoxicated and doesn’t flee the scene. By street racing you’ve gone beyond negligence well into the realm of gross recklessness… essentially creating the peril that caused the death.

It’s such a shame…

He/They did a lot for the sport.

[quote]slimjim wrote:
Too bad, a pretty nice guy. Very enthusiastic and a die hard fan of the sport from way back. [/quote]

Agreed.

Hopefully one day people will learn from stories like this and not put themselves in these types of situations, which more often than not, don’t wind up good for anyone involved.

The problem is that we don’t know exactly what the “situation” was/is. Too much unwarranted judgment and speculation. Lets hold off until all of the facts come out.

[quote]whotookmyname wrote:

OneMoreRep, anytime there is a death resulting from street racing the other driver is going to be charged, even if he wasn’t intoxicated and doesn’t flee the scene. By street racing you’ve gone beyond negligence well into the realm of gross recklessness… essentially creating the peril that caused the death.[/quote]

I get you and I understand the legal reasoning behind it but I just think it would be unfair in the court of public opinion or by anyone to say that hey this guy kirby killed mask, he was the cause of mask’s death.

I don’t know if anyone is saying that but I think it would be unfair if anyone does. This truly is a tragedy an as unfortunate as it is it seems like both were to blame.

It definitely sucks for this to happen to him. He cared a lot about the sport and he always seemed so charismatic.

I hope he wasn’t racing or intoxicated (or both). I’ll hold off judgement until all the facts come out.

Did mask ever fight at all?