Sunday 25 September 2016

Viola Beach tragedy: Driver 'plunged 80 ft off bridge intentionally', say Swedish police

After studying video footage of the moments before the crash, investigators believe driver of the car “probably acted intentionally”

Published 10/03/2016 | 12:02

British band Viola Beach Photo: Facebook
British band Viola Beach Photo: Facebook
The car carrying four members of the Warrington-based band Viola Beach being recovered from the canal under the E4 highway bridge in Sodertalje, Sweden Photo: EPA

Swedish police believe that the driver of the car in which British indie band Viola Beach died “probably acted intentionally” after an examination of video footage of the moments before the crash.

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The four-piece Warrington-based band of Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin, were killed alongside their manager Craig Tarry when their hire car plunged 25 metres off a bridge into a canal in Sweden.

The car carrying four members of the Warrington-based band Viola Beach being recovered from the canal under the E4 highway bridge in Sodertalje, Sweden Photo: EPA
The car carrying four members of the Warrington-based band Viola Beach being recovered from the canal under the E4 highway bridge in Sodertalje, Sweden Photo: EPA

Aged between 19 and 35, they were 18 miles from the capital Stockholm when the accident happened in the early hours of February 13. Since their deaths, preliminary post mortems have been carried out on the five Britons.

Read More: Viola Beach crash: tests show driver had no alcohol or drugs in blood

New footage of the moments before the crash, which appears in Sweden’s Aftonbladet paper, shows the car slowing down behind a lane of cars which are waiting for bridge barriers. However, the car  swerves out on to the narrow shoulder and crashes through the barriers as it speeds up towards the bridge.

 “The driver overtook parked vehicles, using an off-limits part of the bridge,” explained Kjell Lindgren from the Stockholm Police. “It’s not natural to carry on driving if there’s a stop sign, parked cars and blinking red lights.”

Lars Berglund, who is leading the Swedish police’s investigation into the accident, told Aftonbladet that he now believed that most, if not all, of the band members had been killed at the point when their hired Nissan collided with the bridge.

“As far as I can see, most of had already been killed up there on the bridge,” he said. “It looks like the driver was acting intentionally.”

Last month it was revealed that the driver of the car had no drugs or alcohol in their system.

Stockholm Police spokeswoman, Carena Skagerlind, said: "We can confirm that the very preliminary post mortem results show that the driver of the car had no trace of alcohol or drugs in the blood."

She told the Press Association that for the moment they are not going to release any information on who was driving. More tests will be carried out in the coming weeks.

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