British band die in car crash after first overseas show
By Elizabeth Roberts
TRIBUTES poured in from the music industry on Sunday for the young British pop band Viola Beach, whose four musicians were all killed, along with their manager, when their car plunged through the barrier of an open bridge and into a canal in Sweden. The vehicle the band were travelling in fell through a gap in the bridge that had been opened to let a boat pass through, and down into the water more than 82ft below. Those killed were guitarist and vocalist Kris Leonard, 20; guitarist River Reeves, 19; bass player Tomas Lowe, 27; and drummer Jack Dakin, 19. Manager Craig Tarry, 32, also died. They were all from Warrington, Cheshire. Just hours before the crash in the early hours of Saturday the up-andcoming indie-pop band performed at the Where’s the Music? festival in Norrkoping, eastern Sweden. It was their first overseas gig. In a statement, the family of Mr Reeves said: “We are all heartbroken following River’s tragic death and the circumstances which have seen him lose his life alongside the bandmates and manager he adored and loved being with. “Viola Beach were on such an exciting journey and River could not have been happier.” The family of Mr Leonard, 20, said: “Words cannot express the sadness we feel at the loss of our precious Kristian. He was doing the job he loved and will be missed so much by his family and friends.” Mr Tarry’s family said they were “devastated” and “grieving the loss of their son and also for the other families involved in this tragic accident”. Meanwhile, relatives of Mr Lowe described him as “the best son, brother, uncle and friend you could ever wish for” and said his life had been “tragically cut short”.