License article

British band Viola Beach killed in Swedish car crash

All four members of the British indie band Viola Beach have died in Sweden after the car they were travelling in crashed off a bridge that had opened to let a boat pass underneath, local police say.

A witness to the crash in the Swedish capital Stockholm said a number of vehicles had stopped at a barrier on the bridge when a car, travelling at up to 80km/h, drove through the flashing lights, crashed into a beam and disappeared off the edge.

Up Next

Telegraph loses bid to sue over Rush defamation claim

Video duration

More Entertainment News Videos

UK band Viola Beach killed in Sweden

Swedish police describe the circumstances surrounding the car accident which killed all four band members of Viola Beach and their manager in Sweden on Saturday night.

The car plunged more than 25 metres into a canal about 2.30am on Saturday, Swedish police said.

All four members of the Warrington-based band - Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin - died in the crash, along with their manager, Craig Tarry, who was also in the car.

Viola Beach had played at a Swedish music festival on Friday and were scheduled to open for headline artists Blossoms at a concert in Guildford, outside London, on Saturday.

However, the music venue said in a statement it had to cancel the gig after learning Viola Beach had been involved in an accident.


"We are saddened and devastated as details have come to light of this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with family and friends," the venue Boileroom said.

The bridge where the crash occurred has a middle section that rises directly upwards without tilting, leaving a gap into which the Nissan Qashqai drove, police said.  

A barrier, 50 metres before the opening, had flashing lights and signs warning the bridge was opening.

A truck driver, Jonny Alexandersson, who saw the crash, told Swedish news organisation Aftonbladet that a number of vehicles were stopped at the barrier when a vehicle drove past them at "at least 70-80km/h". 

"Many were obviously very shocked by this," he said.

Inspector Martin Bergholm said that, according to witnesses, the car drove through the barriers before crashing into the canal.

"There were no brake marks on the road and it's very difficult to say how fast the car was going at the time," he said.

He told Aftonbladet: "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."

Police divers have recovered the bodies of the five men.

The family of Reeves, the band's guitarist, released a statement saying they were "heartbroken following River's tragic death and the circumstances which have seen him lose his life alongside the bandmates and manager he adored and loved being with".

"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," his family said.

Tarry's family released a statement, via the British Foreign Office, saying they were "devastated" at his loss, and "for the other families involved in this tragic accident".

"Craig was a warm, loving person who had worked tirelessly to achieve success and follow his dreams within the music industry," the family said.

"He will be sadly missed by his family and his colleagues."

The band had posted a photo of themselves on their Facebook page en route to the Swedish festival on Friday.

The British Foreign Office said it was in contact with the local authorities and supporting the families of the victims.

The band released their debut single Swings & Waterslides last year.

Fans and musicians took to Twitter on Sunday to pay tribute to the band.

Tarry was a dedicated fan of the Manchester CIty Football Club, which tweeted its condolences following his death.

Fairfax Media