By Todd Walker
Channel 2 News
1:52 PM AKDT, June 17, 2011
Members of the motorcycle community and countless other local organizations are mourning the loss of Karl LeRay. Alaska State Troopers say LeRay died early Thursday morning while taking a break during a motorcycle trip at the Canadian border near Haines.
Troopers say LeRay was walking with a group of other riders when he collapsed. CPR was performed on the scene, but Leray was declared dead just after 1:00 a.m.
LeRay was president of the motorcycle safety and education organization ABATE of Alaska and was heavily involved in the motorcycle community. He appeared in multiple motorcycle safety public service announcements on TV.
Friends of LeRay say he was involved in multiple other local organizations and that his death comes as a complete shock.
“Everybody around here was pretty solemn,” said Dia Matteson with the House of Harley Davidson, where LeRay was a regular. “He's been involved for years and years and years, so old timers to new riders, everybody knew Karl. Everybody here knows him by his first, so we're all going to miss him. It's a great loss for the motorcycle community.”
Besides his involvement in the community, others who knew LeRay say they’ll remember his humor.
“Karl was always quick with a one-liner,” said Boyd McFail, with ABATE of Alaska. “He was infectious that way. He had the energy of a damn five-year-old and he was only two years younger than me. It's going to be a whole new world out there without him.”
Memorial plans for LeRay are still being made.
The cause of LeRay's death is under investigation.
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