(BBC) -The four members of British indie band ‘Viola Beach’ and their manager have died in a car crash in Sweden. Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin and manager Craig Tarry were killed when their car plunged more than 25m (82ft) from a highway bridge into a canal. The incident happened in the early hours of Saturday near Stockholm.
Mr Tarry’s family say they are grieving his loss and “for the other families involved in this tragic accident”. In a statement, issued via the U.K. Foreign Office, they said they were “devastated”, adding: “Craig was a warm, loving person who had worked tirelessly to achieve success and follow his dreams within the music industry. “He will be sadly missed by his family and his colleagues.”
The Foreign Office earlier confirmed the deaths and said it was supporting the families. ‘Swings and Waterslides’ The band were part of the line-up for Swedish music festival ‘Where is the Music?’ on Friday and were due to play a gig in Guildford in Surrey on Saturday. A musician who played at the same gig in Sweden said “they were fantastic people to be around”. John Olsson, from Swedish band Psykofant, said: “They were a great band. I was standing in the audience thinking I will be able to say I hung around with Viola Beach before they made it big.” The Boiler Room – the Guildford venue they were due to play – said it was “saddened and devastated” to learn of the deaths. Blossoms, the band that was meant to be headlining the gig, tweeted: “Absolutely devastated for the loss of Viola Beach and Craig Tarry. Our thoughts are with their friends and families.”
Swedish police said they received a call about 02:30 local time (01:30 GMT) and were on the scene within five minutes.
They said divers recovered the bodies of the victims – aged between 20 and 35 – after their Nissan Qashqai plunged through a gap in the bridge which had opened to let a boat pass underneath.
The bridge has a middle section that rises directly upwards without tilting, leaving a gap that the car drove into, the police said.
A barrier before the opening has flashing lights and warning signs, the officer handling the case said, and other drivers were waiting behind the barrier.
Inspector Martin Bergholm said: “For some reason, the car drove through the barriers and crashed down into the canal.
“The witnesses just saw a car beside them and kind of disappear.”
Eyewitness Jonny Alexandersson told the BBC he was waiting for the bridge to go down when he saw a car coming very fast on the left side.
“It was very tight,” he said. “They passed me and in front of me was a taxi and the car smashed the side of this car and then they go in the barrier, then I don’t see anything more of the car, the lights were gone.”