By Tim Ghianni
NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - Five people who were part of a charity motorcycle run in Tennessee, were found dead at a campground where bikers were staying after the Saturday event, organizers said on Sunday.
The bodies of the three men and two women were found in a camper at the Clarksville Speedway, where 200 bikers and their families were camped out. Local media said police were looking into carbon monoxide poisoning as a possible cause.
The bikers were part of a contingent of 1,500 riders, mostly on Harleys, who rode through the streets of Clarksville, Tennessee, on Saturday for the 30th Annual Leslie W. Watson Memorial Toy Run, sponsored by local charity Bikers Who Care.
Bikers must donate at least one new toy to participate, and the bikers had filled four trucks with items bound for the Clarksville Fire Department Christmas toy drive for underprivileged children.
"The BWC family is devastated by a tragic accident that took place this morning," said Booger Watson, son of the event's namesake.
"Our heartfelt condolences go to the families of our members and friends, and we would appreciate if everybody will respect the privacy of the families," Watson said, his voice shaking.
The Clarksville Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The largest toy run in the state, it was begun 30 years ago to honor the memory of Booger Watson's father, Leslie W. "Big Lester" Watson, who introduced Harley-Davidson motorcycles to Clarksville decades ago.
The annual after-party at the Clarksville Speedway raises money for a variety of Bikers Who Care causes, including support for Camp Rainbow, a summer camp for seriously ill children that is co-sponsored by the local Dream Factory.
The BWC, which includes many veterans from Fort Campbell's 101st Airborne Division, is also involved in a number of other charities in the Clarksville area.
Bill Langford, director of Bikers Who Care, and Booger Watson, an assistant to the board of directors, began the toy run shortly after "Big Lester" died. It has grown in popularity every year to the point where it is the key event in Clarksville's Bike Week.
Clarksville is about 50 miles northwest of Nashville.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston)