LOS ANGELES (CBS) — There hadn’t been a fatality in the 28 year history of the “Love Ride.”

Bike enthusiast Jay Leno, the event’s grand marshal, quipped the event had become all too polite. To many, those comments seemed a bit insensitive in light of two fatalities about an hour later.

Cheering on the riders, Leno said, “Every year, [the organizer] says ‘Drive safe.’ I’m gonna say, ‘Don’t drive safe.’ I wanna see somebody go down. So it’ll be fun. I want it to be in front or behind me and see a whole row of bikes go down. Get drunk, fall off the road. We’ve all become too damn polite…we haven’t had one incident.”

About an hour later, he unfortunately got his wish for someone to go down.  Clearly, he wasn’t wishing it would have the tragic results that it did.

Romarino Zeri, 51, of Los Angeles and Julie Cameron, 38, of Venice, were both killed when the motorcycle they were riding on slammed into a big rig on the Golden State (5) Freeway in Pacoima.

The pair was declared dead at the scene.

Many riders, recalling Leno’s sendoff, said he would probably feel bad for his joke — although no one is suggesting he could have known what was coming…especially given the ride’s stellar safety record.

More than 2,000 bikers participate in the ride — from Glendale to Castaic Lake — which raises money to benefit Autism Speaks.

Leno is an active participant in the ride and the charity has raised upwards of $13 million since it began.


Comments (9)
  1. Sam Sindaha says:

    Ya its all Leno’s fault, grow up

  2. greg says:

    does the term MORON mean anything, Leno isn’t funny on TV why would he be funny in person, obviously to even suggest anyone could have known this would happen is silly, but that’s like saying “we haven’t had a good plane crash in a long time, hope we get a huge crash today” at an airport, if it happens it’s also coincidence and just as moronic. Apologize to friends and family of the victims for the stupid comment and move on

  3. wgaf says:

    This does not a affect me because I do not have a soul or sense of humor. Only if Schwarzenegger was still around to give me a good “Love Ride.” Oh and I’d let Leno watch.

    1. wgaf says:

      Stop impersonating mr.

  4. Steve Fisher says:

    What’s really sad is that Jay Leno doesn’t make a public apology. At least have some class.

    I have been on many Love Rides, and Jay Leno has been one of the most supportive celebrities, both with his presence and his wallet. Truly one of the nicest, down to earth people you will ever meet.

    I don’t know what possessed him to say that, nobody cares more about having a safe ride than jay.

  5. Tami says:

    Gee Sarah Plain got crucified when she talked about reloading and then the congress woman got shot…and of course, Leno gets a pass when he talks about drunk driving, someone going down…These media outlets are the worst bias in history…Leno should be off the air…so should CBS, NBC, ABC..

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