All four members of the British Indie band Viola Beach and their manager are dead after the vehicle they were riding in fell off a bridge on Saturday morning. The Viola Beach band members, Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin and their manager Craig Tarry were killed in the crash on their way back from performing at a festival in Sweden.
According to Slate News on February 14, Viola Beach was an “up-and-coming” Indie rock band, that was slated to play in a Texas festival in March. Witnesses can’t explain why the driver of the car failed to stop.
The car approached the bridge at a high rate of speed and didn’t slow down despite the fact that the bridge had opened to let a boat pass underneath the structure. The car appeared to ignore or not see all the warning signs that the drawbridge was not passable, as a barrier had come down with flashing lights.
Witnesses said the band’s vehicle came over the bridge, crashed into the barrier that had come down on the drawbridge, and just drove into that opening. The car plunged 80 -feet into the water below.
Divers recovered the bodies of the five men in the vehicle. The car was extremely damaged when it was pulled from the canal by a tow truck. The front end of the vehicle was crunched in like an accordion and the roof was ripped off.
KTLA 5 News reports today that the accident happened at about 2 a.m. on Saturday morning. The band members and their manager ranged in ages between 20 and 35. The Viola Beach band was based out of Warrington, which is in northwestern England.
The band was on their way to the airport after they finished up at the “Where is the Music?” festival on Saturday. They were scheduled to appear on stage in the U.K. on Saturday night, so they were headed home. They were slated to play a gig with another U.K. band on Saturday night. The members of that band canceled Saturday night’s concert after hearing about the Viola Beach band members’ tragedy.
A police spokesperson told the media, “For some reason, this car went through the barriers and actually went under the bridge and into the Sodertalje canal.” It is not known if alcohol played a part in this crash or if the driver was possibly suffering from lack of sleep, as the driver made no attempt to stop despite the barrier coming down and flashing lights .
Viola Beach was one of the bands selected to play at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, next month. “Swings & Waterslides,” was the band’s single debut, which was released last year. The family of River Reeves, the guitarist, told the media:
“Viola Beach were on such an exciting journey and River could not have been happier. He would have loved to have stuck around for the party.” This was their first tour outside the U.K. for this band that was rising quickly in popularity.