THE INQUEST into the tragic death of indie – rock band Viola Beach and their manager, heard today at Warrington Coroners Court that driver Craig Tarry had full control of the vehicle after hitting the first barrier.
Singer Kris Leonard, 20; guitarist River Reeves, 19; drummer Jack Dakin, 19; bass player Tomas Lowe, 27, and Manager Craig Tarry, 32,were killed in a car crash in Sweden in February this year.
Today, Wednesday December 7, the inquest heard the hired Nissan Qashqai crashed into two barriers, on the E4 motorway in Sodertalje, outside Stockholm, before veering off the end of the bridge.
The CCTV footage shows the Qashqai switching lanes behind two HGV’s stationary at the safety barrier before veering left towards a verge and disappearing from sight, the court heard that the changing of lane suggests that driver Craig Tarry had full control of the vehicle after hitting the first barrier.
The car was going at 108kmph, adhering to the speed limit, but it was estimated that after hitting the first barrier, the driver would’ve had enough time to stop the vehicle.
The court was told the driver and front passenger had seat belts but the back three passengers didn’t and as the car was falling, they were ejected from the vehicle.
Consequently Kris, River, Jack and Craig passed away from head injuries, while Tomas drowned once the car had entered the river.
The inquest heard Craig Tarry was driving the band back to their hotel after playing at a festival for upcoming bands near Stockholm, and were 79 miles into their journey, the passengers in the car had a small amount of alcohol in their system, however, toxicology reports confirmed that there were no traces of alcohol or drugs in the drivers blood stream.
Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg said: “I don’t think it ever will be known what happened.
“The events we have been hearing about reveal the most awful tragedy for all of you. I’m very sorry you have suffered this terrible loss”, he added, addressing more than 20 family members of the deceased in attendance.
After the trial Superintendent Martin Cleworth, from Cheshire Police read the families statement he said:
“The families of River, Tom, Jack, Kris and Craig wish to thank everybody for their kind support at this heartbreaking time and the support they have shown over the last 10 months.”
He also added “Craig, Jack, Kris, River and Tom shared a huge passion, talent and dedication to music, and we are tremendously proud of everything the boys achieved in such a short space of time.”