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STOCKHOLM, Sweden (UPDATED) – All 4 members of British indie band Viola Beach and their manager have died in a road crash in Sweden following their first international gig, family members said Sunday, February 14.
“We can confirm that our son Craig, along with 4 members of the band Viola Beach, were involved in a fatal accident in the early hours of Saturday morning,” said a statement issued by the family of manager Craig Tarry.
“Craig was a warm, loving person who had worked tirelessly to achieve success and follow his dreams within the music industry,” it added.
The family of guitarist River Reeves said they were “heartbroken” by the news.
“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,” said a family statement.
“All River wanted to do was perform and entertain and to think that he will never make us laugh again with his ridiculous impressions and cheeky banter is beyond comprehension. We are so proud of him.”
Premier League giants Manchester City paid tribute to season-ticket holder Tarry by holding a minute’s applause 5 minutes into their match with Tottenham on Sunday
Swedish police earlier said that 5 people, all British, had died in the accident. Britain’s Foreign Office confirmed the deaths of five men aged between 20 and 35.
They died when their car hit a barrier and plunged off a canal bridge in Södertälje, a southern district of the capital Stockholm.
Their vehicle reportedly approached at speed the bridge which was not fully shut after allowing a vessel to pass underneath in the early hours of Saturday morning.
“First indications are that the barriers and signal lights were functioning correctly,” police spokesman Towe Hagg told AFP.
‘You guys were gonna be big’
Other vehicles were waiting for the bridge to close fully but “one car arrived at a crazy speed … at least 70-80 kph (45-50 mph). That’s very quick when everybody else was stopped,” Jonny Alexandersson, a lorry driver who witnessed the incident, told the Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet.
News of the tragedy spread quickly on social media and fellow band The Enemy tweeted: “RIP Viola Beach and their manager. Such incredibly tragic and sad news. Thought with the friends and families of all involved x.”
RIP Viola Beach and their manager. Such incredibly tragic and sad news. Thought with the friends and families of all involved x— The Enemy (@theenemyband) February 14, 2016
A contributor to Viola Beach’s Facebook page wrote: “So awful. Taken before anybody had the chance to see what they might have become.”
Another wrote: “Such sad news, you guys were gonna be big.”
Blossoms, the band who Viola Beach was meant to be supporting, tweeted their sadness.
“Absolutely devastated for the loss of Viola Beach and (manager) Craig Tarry. Our thoughts are with their friends and families.”
Absolutely devastated for the loss of Viola Beach and Craig Tarry. Our thoughts are with their friends and families. pic.twitter.com/Fg52on42as— B L O S S O M S (@BlossomsBand) February 14, 2016
Travis lead singer Fran Healy tweeted: “So sad. @Viola_Beach :(“
So sad. @Viola_Beach 🙁— Fran Healy (@franhealy) February 14, 2016
Ross Jarman from The Cribs also took to Twitter to say his “heart goes out to the Viola Beach guys and their families.”
Heart goes out to the Viola Beach guys and their families.— Ross Jarman (@RossJarman) February 14, 2016
The sacrifice many bands around the world make for gig goers everyday- giving up days for traveling & sadly roads & skies can be dangerous.— Ross Jarman (@RossJarman) February 14, 2016
The band, who last year released a debut single, had been in Sweden for a Friday night Where’s the Music Festival in the central city of Norrköping and were headed back to Britain for a gig the following day at Guildford in southern England.
“It was the first time they had played outside of Britain. They were full of hope,” festival organizer Folkert Koopmans told Aftonbladet.
“It’s terrible,” Koopmans said. – Rappler.com