Tributes paid to Viola Beach and manager after canal plunge

Indie band Viola Beach in Sweden. This is believed to be the last picture of them. Picture: PA

Indie band Viola Beach in Sweden. This is believed to be the last picture of them. Picture: PA

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Four members of indie band Viola Beach and their manager, Craig Tarry, were killed in Sweden when their car crashed off the road into a canal.

Singer Kris Leonard, guitarist River Reeves, bassist Tomas Lowe and drummer Jack Dakin, died on Saturday, less than 24 hours after they played a music festival in the country.

Stockholm police spokesman Martin Bergholm said the road was slippery and it was dark when the car drove off a highway bridge falling more than 25 metres into a canal near the Swedish capital. Their bodies were recovered by divers.

Mr Bergholm said police were still investigating the cause of the accident on the E4 highway in Stockholm’s Sodertalje district.

In a statement, Mr Tarry’s family said: “We can confirm that our son Craig, along with four members of the band Viola Beach, were involved in a fatal accident in the early hours of Saturday morning.

“The family are devastated by these events and are grieving the loss of their son and also for the other families involved in this tragic accident.

“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.”

Musicians and celebrities were quick to pay tribute to the band, who were from Warrington, Cheshire.

James Walsh, lead singer of Starsailor, said: “Very sad to hear the awful news about Warrington’s Viola Beach and their manager. Lives and music tragically cut short in their prime.”

Ross Jarman, from The Cribs, said his “heart goes out to the Viola Beach guys and their families”.

The Coral’s James Skelly posted: “So sorry to hear about Viola Beach and Craig Tarry’s accident so sad, their families must be devastated.”

Mr Tarry was described as a “man of unshakeable optimism” and a passionate Manchester City football club fan.

The football club’s fans gave a round of applause in tribute during the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad stadium yesterday.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We are in contact with local authorities and supporting the families at this very difficult time.”

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