Less than 48 hours after the tragic accident that took the life of Charles David Lewis Jr., the OC Register breaks the news that Jeffery David Kirby, 51 years of age, has been formally charged.
A Costa Mesa man with two drunken-driving convictions was charged this morning with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in connection with a crash early Wednesday that killed a mixed martial arts entrepreneur. Jeffrey David Kirby, 51, could get a maximum of 19 years, eight months in prison if convicted.
He was arrested after prosecutors say he crashed his Porsche into a $140,000 Ferrari driven by Charles David Lewis Jr., 45, of Huntington Beach, while both were driving at high rates of speed on Jamboree Road in Newport Beach.
Lewis, one of the founders of a company called TapouT, a multimillion-dollar mixed martial arts enterprise, then lost control of his red sports car, ran over a curb and crashed into a cement light pole with such force that the Ferrari was split in two. Lewis – who called himself “Mask” – was killed instantly.
Personally, I believe the most frightening revelation is that Kirby was indeed intoxicated at the time of the accident. Furthermore, it appears as though this was not the first time he had been caught conducting a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Kirby, who is being held in custody on $2 million bail, was also charged this morning with a felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury for White’s injuries, plus sentencing enhancements for fleeing the scene and causing serious injuries to multiple victims.
He registered a 0.13 blood/alcohol level two hours after the fatal crash, said Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez, who authorized the filing of charges this morning. The legal limit in California is 0.08. Kirby has prior convictions for driving under the influence, in 2002 in Orange County and in 1985 in Nevada, Baez said.
They say that everyone knows someone, or at least knows someone who knows someone, who suffers or has died at the hands of cancer. Those who smoke may have themselves to blame, but with all of the things that are ‘known’ to cause cancer these days, it is hardly preventable. Workplace accidents occur all the time, heart attacks are now commonplace, and father time is known to catch up with all of us sooner or later as well. Hell, car accidents can take the lives of those closest to us far too soon.
A car accident caused by a man who is intoxicated, however, is preventable and that is the most tragic aspect of this story. The mixed martial arts community lost a pioneer of the sport to something so easily preventable and irresponsible that words simply can’t provide any answers.
The investigation into this matter is still ongoing and, without all the details, it may be irresponsible on my part to add this, my own personal insight, into this article. However, when a man ends up dead and the man charged with his death was driving while intoxicated, I feel that I already have enough information to point fingers. No matter what else comes out of this story, there is no longer anything that can be said to change my mind about Mr. Kirby.
Hopefully this is the first of many steps towards serving justice in this case. ‘Mask’ deserves at least that.