Band killed in Swedish car crash were due to play in North East

Viola Beach were tipped as one of the UK's most exciting young bands.
Viola Beach were tipped as one of the UK's most exciting young bands.

An up and coming band who were tragically killed when their car was involved in a horror crash in Sweden were due to play dates in the North East.

All four members of indie-pop Viola Beach were killed when the car they were travelling in plunged more than 80ft from a highway bridge into a canal in Stockholm yesterday.

They were Kris Leonard (guitar/vocals), River Reeves (guitar) Tomas Lowe (bass) and Jack Dakin (drums). Their manager Craig Tarry, who was with them, also died.

The up-and-coming band had played a gig in Norrkoping on Friday night and were due to begin a UK tour in Bournemouth on Thursday.

They were due at The Townhouse in Middlesbrough on February 23, and were also on the bill of the Down To The Woods festival - formerly Hardwick Live - in County Durham in August.

They released their debut single Swings & Waterslides last summer, and the follow-up Boys That Sing came out last month.

The car Viola Beach were travelling in is recovered from the canal in Stockholm.

The car Viola Beach were travelling in is recovered from the canal in Stockholm.

All four members of the group died when their Nissan Qashqai crashed through a barrier and into the canal after the bridge had opened to let a boat pass underneath, Swedish police said.

The bridge has a middle section which rises directly upwards without tilting, leaving a gap that the car drove into.

A barrier, 50m before the opening, has flashing lights and signs warning there is a bridge opening, the officer handling the case said.

Inspector Martin Bergholm said: "For some reason, the car drove through the barriers and crashed down into the canal."

Workers carry out repairs to the bridge which Viola Beach's car plunged from.

Workers carry out repairs to the bridge which Viola Beach's car plunged from.

Drivers of other cars were waiting behind the barrier, but it is not yet known whether a boat had already passed or was waiting to pass.

He added: "The witnesses just saw a car beside them and kind of disappear."

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that five British nationals died in a car accident in Sweden on February 13.

"We are in contact with local authorities and supporting the families at this very difficult time".

Tributes have been pouring in on social media for the band, who were from Warrington, Cheshire.

Coventry band The Enemy tweeted: "RIP Viola Beach and their manager. Such incredibly tragic and sad news. Thought with the friends and families of all involved."

The organisers of Down To The Woods wrote on their Facebook page: "We are so very sad to hear about the tragic accident that has ended the lives of Viola Beach.

"We were hoping you would love them at Down To The Woods this summer. Love, thoughts and prayers to their families, friends and team."