TapouT’s Charles “Mask” Lewis Reportedly Dies in Car Accident; Driver Arrested

We really hope this isn’t true, but the chatter is not good. By now it’s been confirmed. From RingleaderFightNews:

Newport Beach CA — Fox News 11 L.A. reported that a red Ferrari split in half as it slammed into a light pole in Newport Beach today, killing the driver and injuring a passenger. The accident on southbound Jamboree Road near Camelback Street occurred just before 1 a.m., according to a Newport Beach Police Department lieutenant…

The impact of the crash broke the car in half and left the front portion of the high-performance Italian sports car crushed by the light pole. “It apparently was traveling at a high rate of speed, and it left the roadway, hit the curb, took out a light pole, and … someone is deceased in the vehicle and we don’t know who that person is at this particular time,” Newport Beach police Lt. Steven Shulman told ABC7 at the crash site.

An unnamed source has told Ringleadfightnews.com that the deceased driver was TapouT Crew member and part owner of the multi-million dollar company, “Mask.” The information could not be verified and is still speculation at this point.

Police Lt. Steven Shulman told Fox News 11, “the coroner will identify that person, notify the family, and hopefully the passenger that we believe was in the vehicle will survive the injuries and we will find out a little bit more at that point.”

A second victim was taken to a hospital following the accident, a Newport Beach Fire Department dispatch supervisor said. Her condition was not immediately reported. The injured victim was a female passenger who was ejected in the crash, On Scene reported.

MyFoxLA adds the following details:

Police say the bright red Ferrari Modena was traveling at high speed next to a Porsche when it apparently hit that car, then struck a curb and knocked over a light pole shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The crash tore the $300,000 car in half. The driver died at the scene and his name has not been released. A woman passenger thrown from the car has been hospitalized but there’s no word on her condition.

Police have arrested the Porsche’s driver, 51-year-old Jeffrey Kirby of Costa Mesa, for investigation of gross vehicular manslaughter, and his woman passenger for investigation of public intoxication. His phone number in Costa Mesa is unlisted.

We’ve made fun of Mask and the rest of the TapouT crew in the past, mainly because their loud/arrogant/”inyaface” schtick kind of represents everything we hate about meathead MMA fans. Yet TapouT has worked harder than any other company to sustain up-and-coming fighters through sponsorships; without Charles Lewis and his equally colorful business partners, countless fighters would have succumbed to the economic hardships of trying to make it as a mixed martial artist.

To borrow one of their phrases — this is incredibly Bad for the Sport. More details to come.