FIVE members of Warrington Indie rock band Viola Beach, are reported to have been killed following a tragic car accident while on tour in Sweden.
The band, who performed at last year’s Warrington festival alongside Pixie Lott, were due to appear at a sell out home coming gig at the Parr Hall next month.
The names of the five killed have not yet been released by police, but are believed to be four band members and a manager.
Their vehicle dropped 80 ft off a bridge into a canal near Stockholm.
The band were on a crest of a wave and optimistic about their future and looking forward to their home coming gig. Plans were already in the pipeline for another gig in Warrington next year.
A recent post on the band’s facebook page read: “Very excited to announce we’ve been invited by to play BBC Introducing and PRS for Music Foundation’s showcase at SXSW Music Festival in Austin Texas at Latitude 30 on Wednesday 16th March!!”
The band consisted of Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tom Lowe and Jack Dakin and manager Craig.
Swedish police 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.
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.”
Four-piece band from Warrington, Cheshire
Kris Leonard – guitar, lead vocal; River Reeves – guitar; Tomas Lowe – bass; Jack Dakin – drums
Released debut single Swings & Waterslides last year
Performed at Reading and Leeds Festival in 2015
They were on tour and due to play a string of dates at venues across the UK including a sell out at Warrington Parr Hall.