Inquiry into Viola Beach deaths opens following fatal car crash

Band were killed in a car crash in Sweden over the weekend

Police have opened an investigation into an incident that led to the death of indie band Viola Beach

As reported, the band and their manager were killed in a car crash in Sweden when their car plunged 80ft off a bridge in Stockholm. Police previously said that the car hit a barrier and fell through a gap in the bridge which had opened up to let a passing boat through.

The Guardian reports that postmortem examinations are due to be carried out and that local police are attempting to determine “possible causes” for the incident.

Carina Skagerlind, a spokesperson for Stockholm police, said: “We are looking at all the possible causes. We have a term in Sweden that if a person who is driving is to blame for the deaths, we call that causing death of others. And that could be the case here. We are looking at that. But who would we prosecute because everyone in the car is dead?”

“We haven’t identified the driver yet, that is part of the investigation,” Skagerlind added. “The autopsies will be carried out as soon as possible, but they have not been done yet. It is five person and it can take a while so we don’t know when the results will be released. They are doing it as fast they can.”

“There are hundreds of possibilities. We are looking at the car, we are looking at the circumstances, we are talking to witnesses. We don’t have any answers yet and we have to look at everything… The car is being examined we have taken it out of the water. They are looking at it now”.

Skagerlind also said that icy weather conditions could have been a cause: “We are looking at the barrier. We have to put new barriers on the bridge and had to take the old ones away.”

Viola Beach were guitarist and vocalist Kris Leonard, guitarist River Reeves, bassist Tomas Lowe and drummer Jack Dakin. The band’s manager was Craig Tarry.

Meanwhile, family members of the group and fellow bands have paid tribute following the incident.

Bands including The Cribs and Courteeners have paid tribute to the rising band. Their label have confirmed plans to donate funds from new single to the families of those who died.

The family of Lowe said his life had been “tragically cut short”. A Foreign Office statement reads: “Tomas was the best son, brother, uncle and friend you could ever wish for and he will be missed dearly.”

“Tomas had a passion for music and for life and he was, in his words, ‘living the dream’ when his life was tragically cut short. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him,” the family added.

Reeves’s family said the situation is “so unfair”.

“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,” they said in a statement.

Frontman Leonard’s family said “words cannot express the sadness we feel at the loss of our precious Kristian”.

“He was doing the job he loved and will be missed so much by his family and friends,” they added in a statement.

Mr Tarry’s relatives said they were “devastated” and “grieving the loss of their son and also for the other families involved in this tragic accident”.

Viola Beach released their debut single ‘Swings & Waterslides’ in 2015 and were set to support Blossoms on their February and March UK and Ireland tour. They were due to fly out to Texas next month with an appearance at SXSW confirmed.

Other festivals they were due to appear at through 2016 include The Great Escape, Liverpool Sound City, Bushstock, Latitude, The Secret Garden Party, Liverpool International Music Festival and T In The Park.