Tributes to Viola Beach band killed in car crash

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The members of band Viola Beach who were killed in a car crash in Sweden. Pic © Viola Beach

The members of band Viola Beach who were killed in a car crash in Sweden. Pic © Viola Beach

Fans, friends and family of Warrington band, Viola Beach, have paid tribute to the musicians and their manager who died in a car crash in Sweden at the weekend.

Tomas Lowe, Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Jack Dakin and manager Craig Tarry, aged between 19 and 35, were killed when their vehicle fell more than 80ft into a canal near Stockholm on Saturday.

Swedish police have since confirmed the accident occurred when the vehicle crashed through a warning barrier and plunged through a gap in the highway bridge, which had opened to let a boat pass underneath.

The up and coming band had debuted at the Cavern Club in July last year and released their debut single, ‘Swings and Waterslides’, in the month following. They were visiting Sweden to perform at a music festival in their first gig outside the UK.

In a statement released by the Foreign Office, the family of River Reeves said: “We are all heartbroken following River’s tragic death and the circumstances which have seen him lose his life alongside the band mates 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.”

Earlier this month, the band had revealed on Facebook that they had been invited to play BBC Introducing showcase, scheduled to take place in Austin, Texas in March. Viola Beach had also received one of their very first air plays by Huw Stephens on BBC’s Radio One.

BBC Introducing took to their Twitter to say: “We’re very saddened to hear of the passing of Warrington’s @Viola_Beach and their manager. Our thoughts are with their families and friends.”

The former girlfriend of manager Craig Tarry, Gemma Hepworth, has also written a tribute on her Instagram account.

She said: “Yesterday we tragically lost a very dear friend in a road traffic accident over in Sweden. Tragic circumstances doesn’t even cover it. He introduced me to some superb music, a great football team and a wonderful family. He spoke about all of the above with a sparkle in his eye.

“He never gave up on his dream, he sure knew his stuff on musicians and bands, and he managed to create his dream job from that very talent. I feel sick to the stomach typing this out, many beautiful memories.”

Tarry has been described as an avid Manchester City fan and the club’s supporters were also among those who have paid tribute to the victims, with fans ‘clapping for Craig’ in the fifth minute of their match against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. The screen at the Etihad Stadium showed photographs of the five men with the message: ‘RIP Viola Beach and Craig Terry’.

About Elle Spencer, JMU Journalism