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Newport Beach Auto Accident Kills TapouT Founder


Charles “Mask” Lewis, 38, a Huntington Beach resident and founder of the famous TapouT clothing company, was killed in an apparent hit-and-run auto accident in Newport Beach early morning on March 11, 2009. According to this news report in the Daily Pilot, police observed Lewis’ 2004 red Ferrari and a 1977 Porsche 911 Targa out of control on southbound Jamboree Road between Eastbluff Drive North and Bison Avenue. The Ferrari apparently jumped the curb and slammed into a light pole, splitting in half and killing Charles Lewis, the driver.

Jeffrey Kirby, 51, the driver of the Porsche, did not stop at the scene of the accident and was arrested blocks away from the fatal car crash scene on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence and felony hit-and-run. Also arrested was Kirby’s passenger, 32-year-old Lynn Nabozny. Police say Lewis’ car collided with Kirby’s Porsche before losing control. Kirby apparently has a prior DUI conviction from 2002. A woman was ejected from the Ferrari during the crash, but she did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

My heart goes out to the family, friends and co-workers of Charles Lewis for their tragic loss. I offer my deepest condolences to everybody who knew and loved this man. Please keep them in your prayers during their difficult time.

Preliminary news reports suggest that the two vehicles were most likely racing at a high rate of speed on Jamboree Road when this crash occurred. Speed and alcohol obviously played a part in this tragic accident. In situations like this, I usually recommend that the victim’s family retain one of Orange County’s finest Orange County auto accident attorney to investigate the cause of the accident and injuries. In this case, it would be important to find out whether other factors existed that contributed or caused this horrific and fatal crash.

A skilled personal injury attorney would be able to determine any auto product defects or negligence on the part of the city for the design or maintenance of the roadway. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer should also look into whether the placement or design of the pole Lewis hit contributed to his fatal injuries. I hope Kirby is held both civilly and criminally responsible for his actions. He will certainly bear some of the legal liability in this case as it seems he was engaged in a speed contest or racing with Lewis.

This is another Orange County incident that proves drinking and driving can be lethal and have tragic consequences. It is sad that Charles Lewis, a successful businessman and entrepreneur in the prime of his life, was killed tragically and unnecessarily in a speed contest. As a auto accident attorney at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys I have seen many tragic auto accidents. Please be careful. Do not drink and drive. Let this tragedy be a lesson to save other lives.

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