Viola Beach Crash Driver 'Acted Deliberately'

The driver of a car that plunged off a bridge killing the band Viola Beach and their manager "acted deliberately" at the time of the crash, police have said.

Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe, Jack Dakin and manager Craig Tarry died when their hire car plunged 25 metres off the bridge 18 miles from the Swedish capital Stockholm on 13 February.

A preliminary post-mortem has shown the driver of the car - who police have not identified - did not have alcohol or drugs in his body.

Police said analysis of surveillance footage from the Sodertalje canal bridge has also shown that the car was not travelling excessively quickly and ruled out the possibility that the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

Craig Tarry (L) and his father Colin

Police investigator Lars Berglund told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet: "We cannot find any external factors. It looks like the driver acted deliberately." 

He added: "From what I can see, most of them died when the car hit the bridge."

British band Viola Beach performing on Friday 12 February Pic: postcardpictures

The paper produced a reconstruction of the footage, showing the band's Nissan Qashqai braking as it pulled up behind a private car and taxi in a lane next to two lorries - all of which had stopped at the barriers, which were closed because of an approaching oil tanker.

Moments later, the band's black vehicle pulled out to the left onto the hard shoulder and sped up, crashing through the barrier as the bridge was raised.

Witness Kent Udden told the paper: "We didn't see any brake lights. When he passed the first barrier, it would have been obvious that this is something you shouldn't pass.

"We saw no signs that he was slowing down."

Viola Beach

Because no mechanical fault was found with the vehicle and barriers, traffic lights and warning signs on the bridge were working normally, the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority has reportedly decided not to take its probe of the crash any further.

Viola Beach had just finished their first ever gig outside the UK and were on their way to Arlanda Airport, north of Stockholm, when the crash happened shortly after 2am.

Minutes after the car plunged from the bridge, the oil tanker Tellus passed over the spot where their car was later found.

A campaign led by fans of the Warrington band saw their song Swings & Waterslides make number 11 in the Official Top 40 singles chart the week after their deaths.

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