Fatal Newport Beach Sports Car Crash Highlights Lawlessness of Car Culture

3_12_09_ferrari.jpgPhoto: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times

Yesterday, the media reacted with horror to the news that Mixed Martial Arts and reality television star Charles "Mask" Lewis died after a particularly gruesome and spectacular crash between his Ferrari and a Porsche in Newport Beach. After reading the Times’ coverage of the story, it’s clear that this crash was completely avoidable if we had a justice system that prioritized taking unsafe drivers off the road. The driver of the Porsche that allegedly caused the crash has a long history of violating traffic laws, but was still free to cruise Orange County roads:

According to Orange County Superior Court records, Kirby has been cited
for at least eight traffic violations since 2001, including a
conviction for driving under the influence in which he was sentenced to
three years’ probation.

In the 2001 drunk driving arrest, Kirby allegedly told the
arresting officer that his father was a retired CHP patrolman who
always advised him to never submit to a sobriety test. He also told the
officer that "he shouldn’t be picking on people with money," according
to the police report.

I’m beginning to wonder if the California Highway Patrol has any moral authority left.  Last week we saw them going out of their way to "correct" information about cyclists rights by disseminating incorrect information and now we have them advising drunk family members on how to avoid DUI’s.

Kirby is being held on suspicion of felony drunk driving and driving under the influence.  I’m guessing that drunkenly causing a fatal crash is a violation of his probation.

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