Four Viola Beach band members and their manager were killed early Saturday morning at 2:30 a.m. when the band’s car fell 85 feet from a bridge near Stockholm, Sweden. The tragic accident is ending the lives of four musicians that were cherished worldwide.
The members of the Warrington-based Viola Beach band and their manager died when their Nissan Qashqai went through the barrier of an open bridge, fell 85 feet, and then landed in a canal, reports The Sydney Morning Herald on February 15. The bridge had been opened in order to let a boat pass by.
“Swedish police said the men were killed in the early hours of Saturday when the vehicle plunged more than 25m (82ft) through a gap in the highway bridge, which had opened to let a boat pass underneath.”
According to eye witnesses, the tragic accident occurred around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Various cars had stopped at a barrier on the bridge but the band’s car, which was travelling at about 50 miles per hour (80 kilometers per hour) drove through the flashing lights, crashed into a beam, and then disappeared off the edge – 85 feet (about 25 meters ) into the waters of the canal.
The four Viola band members, guitarist and vocalist Kristian Leonard, 20, guitarist River Reeves, 19, bass player Tomas Lowe, 27, and drummer Jack Dakin, 19, were friends growing up in their hometown of Warrington, Cheshire. Their manager, 32-year-old Craig Tarry, was also in the car. All members of the up-and-coming British indie rock band had just played at Sweden’s Where’s the Music? festival in Norrkoping on Friday.
The band’s Facebook page still shows the musician’s excitement about being able to pursue their lives’ dreams:
“ICYMI – Check out our Live session for BBC Introducing / Huw Stephensat Maida Vale Studios — http://bbc.in/1R3Yjgd.”
And just on February 11, the band wrote the following:
“We’re flying out to Sweden tomorrow for Where’s the Music?Festival in Norrköping! We play Dynamo (Hallarna) on Friday at 9.30pm! Tickets at http://www.wheresthemusic.se/en/tickets/”
As the news of the tragic death of the Viola Beach band members and their manager is travelling around the world, condolences – and anger — are pouring in on the band’s Facebook page:
“What a bloody waste, why couldn’t u have taken 5 evil bastards off the earth?”
“Such lovely voices they should’ve had so much success. God bless them and their poor families will never be the same.”
On behalf of the family of 19-year-old guitarist River Reeves, the Foreign Office released the following statement:
“All River wanted to do was perform and entertain and to think that he will never make us laugh again with his ridiculous impressions and cheeky banter is beyond comprehension for all his family. River had such talent and such humility, such charm and such innocence it seems so unfair that he can be taken so cruelly from us like this. We are so proud of him, not only for what he achieved in his short, beautiful life, but also what he was clearly destined to achieve.”
The bridge that turned fatal for the admired musicians has a middle section that rises directly upwards without tilting. The open gap is protected by a barrier and flashing lights about 160 feet (50 meters) before.
“There were no brake marks on the road and it’s very difficult to say how fast the car was going at the time. The witnesses just saw a car beside them and kind of disappear. The only people who knew what went on inside the car are dead,” stated Inspector Martin Bergholm in regard to the tragic death of the Viola Beach band members and their manager.