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Driver of Newport Beach Car Crash that Killed TapouT Owner Goes on Trial

December 31, 1969

It's been nearly two years since the catastrophic Newport Beach car accident that claimed the life of Charles Lewis Jr., the Huntington Beach owner of martial arts clothing company TapouT. Now, the driver accused of crashing into Lewis's Ferrari on March 11, 2009, is about to go on trial for a number of criminal charges related to the deadly collision, including vehicular manslaughter and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. If convicted, Costa Mesa resident Jeffrey David Kirby could be sentenced to 18 years in state prison.

According to Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez, Kirby, a repeat drunk driver, had a blood/alcohol content of almost twice the legal limit, when he crashed his Porsche into Lewis' Ferrari. The two vehicles had been speeding on Jamboree road at the time and the tragic car accident occurred when Kirby lost control of his sports car. He stopped briefly at Newport Beach motor vehicle crash site before leaving the scene.

Investigators would later find receipts in Kirby's wallet showing that earlier that evening, he drank alcohol at two bars--one in Irvine and the other in San Juan Capistrano. The 53-year-old man has two prior DUIs.

Lewis died at the crash site after his Ferrari drove over a curb and struck a cement light pole. His girlfriend, Lacy Lynn White, was thrown from the car and landed on a sidewalk. She sustained serious injuries, including a broken hip, a broken vertebrae, and a shattered elbow.

Drunk Driving
Drunk driving destroys the lives of the victims, their loved ones, and the drunk driver. People that are too drunk to drive are usually unable to drive safely or comprehend that they are a danger to pedestrians and other motorists. A person charged with drunk driving can also be sued for Orange County, California injury or wrongful death if someone else gets hurt or dies.

How to avoid driving while drunk:
• Don't drive if you feel even remotely tipsy
• Know when you've had one drink too many
• Appoint a designated driver
• Take a taxi or, if you are at someone's home or at a hotel, stay there for the night
• If you know you are driving home, keep drinking to a minimum
• Don't take drinks from strangers--you never know what else is in your beverage
• Don't drink if you are on medication
• If you get behind the steering wheel of the car and realize that you are drunk, stop driving

Trial to begin in crash that killed 'Mask', OC Register, November 18, 2010

TapouT Owner Dies in Horrific Ferrari Crash, TMZ, March 11, 2009

Ferrari crash involves alcohol, speed and a white Porsche, police say, Los Angeles Times, March 11, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Drinking & Driving

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Stop Impaired Driving

Contact our Anaheim car accident law firm today.