Viola Beach: Inquest hears car drove through two crash barriers before crashing into canal

Viola Beach: Inquest hears car drove through two crash barriers before falling into canal

A tribute to the band and their manager at a football match

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

An inquest into the deaths of an emerging British band and their manager has heard their car drove through two separate crash barriers into a raised bridge, before plunging into the canal below.

All four members of Warrington band Viola Beach - Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin - and their manager Craig Tarry died in Sweden in February when their hire car plunged 25 metres off a bridge, which had been opened to let a boat through, into a canal. 

The men had finished a gig and were on their way back to their hotel at the time of the crash.

The inquest heard there were two barriers - the first one positioned 120 metres from the bridge and the second 50 metres away.

The Swedish authorities were called to the scene in the early hours of the morning of February 13 after receiving reports the car had gone through the second barrier, which carried flashing lights and warning signs.

The inquest heard that the car crashed into the raised section of the bridge after going through the inner barrier, before plunging into the water below. Technical examination showed there were no issues with the car, signalling, or barrier system, nor the bridge lifting mechanisms.  

Reports from Swedish coroners told the court the main cause of death for four people in the car were head injuries, apart from Lowe, who drowned. There were no drugs or alcohol found in the driver, Tarry, with small amounts found in the band members.

Viola Beach had featured on BBC Introducing, and their debut album was posthumously released.

At the time, the bands' family members released a joint statement saying: "We're tremendously proud of everything the boys achieved in a short space of time.

"Craig, Jack, Kris, River and Tom shared a huge passion, talent and dedication to music."